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Robert Morgan relates a story from the life of John Wooden, one of the most revered coaches in the history of college basketball, who credited much of his success to his Father. He recalled a boyhood occasion when he watched his father deal with a certain situation. His rural Indiana county would pay local farmers to take teams of mules or horses into the gravel pits scattered through the county and haul out loads of gravel. Some pits were deeper than others, and sometimes it was hard for a team to pull a wagon filled with gravel out through the wet sand and up the steep incline.

One steamy summer day, wrote Wooden, a young farmer was trying to get his team of horses to pull a fully loaded wagon out of the pit. He was whipping and cursing those beautiful plow horses, which were frothing at the mouth, stomping, and pulling back from him. The elder Wooden watched for a while, then went over to the young man and said, "Let me take 'em for you."

Dad started talking to the horses, almost whispering to them, and stroking their noses with a soft touch. Then he walked between them, holding their bridles and bits while he continued talking-very calmly and gently-as they settled down. Gradually he stepped out in front of them and gave a little whistle to start them moving forward while he guided the reins. Within moments, those two big plow horses pulled the wagon out of the gravel pit as easy as could be. As if they were happy to do it.

John Wooden said, ''I've never forgotten what I saw him do and how he did it. So much more can usually be accomplished by Dad's calm, confident, and steady approach." Wooden took away an indelible lesson: "It takes strength inside to be gentle on the outside." Robert Morgan, Worry Less, Live More (Thomas Nelson, 2017), pages 29-30.

Let's be gentle with one another because of the strength we have in Jesus!

Blessings- Pastor Jon