Happy New Year! I realize it’s not January, but this is the beginning of a brand new school year! Hundreds in the Brentwood Hills family are impacted (students, parents, teachers and others) by all the adventures associated with this exciting time of the year. Let’s keep all of our students and teachers in our prayers, asking God to make this the best school year any of them have ever experienced – so far.
A new school year brings with it a new high school football season, which reminds me of a story Jeffrey Marx tells in Season of Life – a book that chronicles the 2001 football season at The Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland. Gilman has a very successful high school football program, with numerous conference championships and several national rankings in USA Today’s top 25 teams.
However, what’s most impressive about this team is not their record or their championship trophies, but the commitment of their two coaches – Biff Poggi and Joe Ehrmann – to build true character deeply into the hearts of their players.
One story Marx tells in his book involves a conversation that takes place at a pre-season cookout for the team and their families. One of the mothers asked Coach Poggi how things were looking for the team and how successful he thought the boys were going to be. She was obviously inquiring about the season, how many games the coach thought they would win, and if he expected a championship.
She was probably not expecting Coach Poggi’s reply:
“I have no idea, won’t really know for twenty years.”
Coach Poggi continued:
“I won’t really know how successful they’re gonna be till they come back to visit in twenty years. Then I’ll be able to see what kind of husbands they are. I’ll be able to see what kind of fathers they are. I’ll see what they are doing in the community.”
His answer captures what is important for us to remember about the investments we make in others – especially the investments we make in the children and teens that God brings into our lives. The most important goals are truly long-term, not short-term.
There’s certainly a place for those short-term goals – won/lost records, report cards, attendance numbers or revenue dollars. But we’re wise to remember that ultimately the significance of those short-term goals will fade, and the long-term goals and accomplishments will be what really matters – including the establishment and development of a strong faith, a strong family and strong friendships.
As we’re praying, for our young people and for everyone else, be sure you’re praying not only for short-term goals but also (and even more so) for long-term goals!
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583