from "The Revival I Long For" by Anne Graham Lotz
Keywords: knowledge, passion
For years, Tom Landry was an American icon…He faced pressure with poise, criticism with grace, rudeness with courtesy, humiliation with dignity, victory with humility, and crisis with faith. He became a legend in his own time.
On more than one occasion, I’ve heard Coach Landry state that he had come across many good athletes, but very few great ones. He defined the difference between a good athlete and a great one as being 18 inches - the distance from the head to the heart. From his observation based on a lifetime of involvement in sports, he explained that good athletes have exceptional ability and a thorough understanding of the game, but great athletes have heart - a passion to play that drives them to selfless sacrifice, brutally long hours of practice, undivided focus, and ultimately, extraordinary accomplishments.
In almost 30 years of ministry, I have observed many good Christians, like Coach Landry’s athletes, but very few great ones. And the difference is the same 18-inch distance - the distance from the head to the heart. While there are many good Christians who have a head knowledge of Scripture, attend church regularly, are familiar with church traditions and rituals, are comfortable with prayer, group Bible study, and outreach ministries, there are very few who are great. There are relatively few who seem to be in love with Jesus, who put him first in their lives when to do so demands sacrificing their own time, money, and desires. There are very few Christians who want what he wants more than what they want - and are willing to lay everything on the line to pursue it. There are very few Christians who are willing to risk their jobs, reputations, status, friendships, financial security, and even their lives for the sake of sharing the Gospel and pleasing God. We just seem to lack a clear vision of God and a passionate heart for God that combined are the hub around which everything in our lives revolves.