Meditations by John Dean

Monday, March 3, 2014

When the Glory Fades

(Job 17:11 KJV) My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart. 

Job may have been a little premature when making that statement, but there comes a time in every one’s life when it becomes truth. There is a time when one’s glory days do pass and their purposes change.

Over the years I have tried to discover a pattern as to when one may reach their peak performance and influence. As a result I came to the conclusion that one’s performance and influence only flow together for a time and then they divide. One’s performance comes to an end much quicker than their influence. As a matter of fact, one’s influence should continue to increase long after their performance has peaked and waned.

I have also noticed that performance is a direct result to one’s thinking. Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can, or if you think you cannot ‒ you are right.” The mind is so powerful that one’s reality is often the result of one’s thoughts.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In other words…he is not the man that his mouth says he is, but the one that his mind thinks he is.

There are a number of things that can influence a person’s thought life that will affect their performance. Age and fatigue are certainly a couple of those things.

When one begins to think negatively about themselves, then for all practical purposes a decline in their performance will follow.

I was watching the NBA finals last year between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat when I heard the great announcer Charles Barkley make an interesting statement.  Barkley had always been a tremendous fan of Manu Ginóbili who is one of the stars of the San Antonio Spurs. Over the years each time Barkley saw the Spurs play he would always shout out Ginóbili, Ginóbili.” However, during the NBA finals Ginóbili played so poorly that Barkley could not shout out his name anymore. He was only able to say it just above a whisper, “Ginóbili, Ginóbili.”

What happened...what was the difference? Perhaps Barkley thought that Ginóbili’s great basketball career was coming to an end. Perhaps he thought that age had taken its toll on Ginóbili and his glory days had passed.

I am glad that Mr. Barkley missed this one and that he can once again start shouting Ginóbili’s name because Ginóbili has been playing wonderfully this year.

The lesson we learn in this story is that Ginóbili did not allow negative thinking to control his mind…which would have affected his game. As a result of not yielding to negative thinking, I believe Ginóbili will fulfill his destiny as an NBA player and will finish his career strong.

Is it possible that we, like Job, are guilty of prematurely speaking our untrue epitaph as a result of negative thinking? If that is the case, then how would that affect us reaching our peak performance or influence?

Help us not to be influenced by negative surroundings or the negative word of others or even what looks to be our own inabilities. Lord, You said in Your Word, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Lord we believe, but “help our unbelief.”


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