Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion!” Coach Rudy Tomjanovich proclaimed after his Houston Rockets team overcame near-impossible odds to win the 1994-1995 NBA championship. After previously winning the title in the 1993-1994 season, the Rockets entered the playoffs the next season as the sixth seed out of eight in the Western Conference. There were no buzzer-beating shots or close games, but the Rockets simply kept playing hard and eventually won their second championship. The Rockets refused to lose—it’s that simple.
Champions come in all shapes and sizes, but the heart of a champion will always look the same. I believe that a champion’s heart is made from a drop of courage, an ounce of inspiration, and a dash of determination. It’s one thing to win, but it’s something completely different to be known for winning. Somehow champions find ways to overcome the odds because they have made a habit of winning.
I recently read a book that discusses habits. The book talks about how the brain tries to form routines—habits—so that it can conserve energy. For instance, every Sabbath morning many Seventh-day Adventists have formed the habit of going to church. It’s been so instilled in our brains that it can feel strange if you aren’t in church that day. As for champions, they have formed the habit of winning. They automatically do all the small things that need to be done in order to win. Whether it’s diving on the floor for a loose ball, making an unbelievable catch, or hitting a home run, champions find a way to win because that’s what they’re used to doing. That’s not to say that champions never lose; it simply means that they win more times than the average person.
The Bible is full of wisdom and guidance, and the more time we devote to reading and studying its pages, the more natural and helpful it will become to our lives. It will soon be a habit that goes a long way toward building a character that pleases God. Sure, our ultimate motivation to devote time to studying God’s Word is to know its Author better. Yet if we begin the habit of reading the Bible and following its wisdom, good things will happen in our hearts. We might even become champions for God.
by David Robinson
Reprinted from Charles Mills, Eyes of the Crocodile (Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 2000).