A Strategy of Patience

“Trust in the Lord, and do good . . . and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:3,7

How many times have you heard a coach yell out impatiently, “Be patient! You’re too anxious!” It’s so hard to wait for things to develop on the basketball court or on the soccer pitch. We want things to happen right now!

One person who knew about patience and who knew how to teach it to his players was John Wooden, legendary coach of UCLA basket- ball in the 1960s and 1970s. In his landmark book They Call Me Coach, Wooden talked about the value of patience in sports. “In game play,” he wrote, “it has always been my philosophy that patience will win out. By that, I mean patience to follow our game plan. If we do believe in it, we will wear the opposition down and will get to them. If we break away from our style, however, and play their style, we’re in trouble.”

Wooden, a Christian gentleman who earned everyone’s respect for his demeanor, was on to something that goes beyond basketball. Patience in life is even more vital than it is in hoops—especially for those who want to live for God.

Look at what Psalm 37 says. There God is saying, in effect, “Do what’s right and trust Me. Regardless of how badly you may seem to be losing, just do My will and leave the outcome to Me. I’ll make sure that eventually you’ll be the winner.”

Follow the strategy of patience. Wait on God’s direction. It’s a strategy that will not just keep us from beating ourselves; it will lead to victory!

From the playbook: Read Psalm 37:1–11.