My son, Kyle, received an acoustic guitar for his tenth birthday. He, of course, fancied himself the next Lincoln Brewster and thought he would be fronting his own rock band in a few short months. Much to my son’s surprise, though, the guitar is not a simple instrument to master.
Even more surprising to young Kyle, his guitar teacher did not start him deep in the lesson book where the really good stuff was. Instead, he started him on page one. During my son’s first lesson, he did not learn any cool songs. Not even close. His first lesson covered three little notes on just one lone string.
As much as Kyle would have liked to start on page thirty-five, he would have been overwhelmed and confused. Why? Well, when learning an instrument, you start with the basics.
Similarly, while I was working as a missionary in Romania, I coached both boys’ and girls’ middle school basketball. There were many major obstacles that I faced as a coach. The first one involved the little detail of the school never having a basketball team in its history (which dated back to the 1400s!)
So where did I start with them? Raise your hand if you think the first thing I did was to divide the teams into two groups, have the tallest two jump for the ball, and then let them loose to play a game of basketball.
Okay, you know I can’t see if your hand is up.
That would be the wrong starting point. Such a starting point would lead to frustration for me and confusion for them. These kids didn’t know the rules, the boundaries, or anything else. For example, in soccer, the national sport in Romania, the boundary line is in-bounds. To their great surprise, in basketball, the boundary line is out-of-bounds.
I had to start from square one, “Good afternoon students, this orange ball I hold in my hand is called a basketball.”
The right starting place is not just vital for playing sports or for learning an instrument. The right starting place is also vital for life. In fact, the most important starting place of all is the starting place for life.
Where is this starting point for life? It is with the one who started all of life--God.
Life is not about your dreams, your plans, your goals, your will, your families, your spark, your sun sign, or your whatever else. Life is not about you at all. It’s all about God.
Starting with you is starting in the wrong place.
Not sure if you're at the right starting point? We'll talk more about that next time.