HomeNewsDooley Noted: Some Thoughts on Mike Leach

Dooley Noted: Some Thoughts on Mike Leach

I was saddened, like many of you, to hear the news of Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach’s passing last Monday, December 12. I do not say so as a fan of the Bulldogs (I was born a Kentucky Wildcats fan). But, as someone who loves college football, I was grieved to hear that one of the game’s more enjoyable, even entertaining personalities, was gone too soon. Saturdays next fall won’t be the same without Coach Leach. Immediately after news of his death broke, tributes flooded in as fans, friends, and even opponents remembered and praised the innovative coach.

His thoughts on wedding planning were legendary. His explanations about Bigfoot and aliens were curious. His recollection of tracking a racoon was hysterical. His comparisons of team mascots were witty and amusing. His love for candy corn, gummy bears, and Nerds clusters was endearing. His discourse about the next generation having dinosaur hands due to lack of use was the kind of soundbite reporters dream of. I could go on, but few would debate that Mike Leach was fun and likable, never seeming to take himself too seriously.

And then, in an instant, he left us.

At just 61 years old, no one expected it. And yet, perhaps we should have. What if the old pirate left us one final lesson to consider before saying goodbye? I don’t know if Mike Leach was a man of faith, but the Bible says in James 4:14, “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” In other words, the only certainties in life are its unpredictability and its brevity.

There is a Blindness to Life

None of us know what the future holds. In 1958 a new house was just $12,000; a new car was $2155; a movie ticket was $1; a stamp was 4 cents; and a gallon of gas was just 24 cents. For those of you who lived back then, did you ever imagine life would be like it is today? Frankly, sometimes it feels like there is no rhyme or reason to what unfolds on a daily basis. Life is full of many good days, for which we are thankful, but the years also bring many hard days, too. We anticipate having children, but not miscarriages. We expect golden anniversaries, but not divorces. We look forward to milestones and accomplishments, but we never daydream about funerals. We hope for laughter, but we don’t foresee all the tears. Intrinsic to James’ instruction is the need to live every day to the fullest. Simply put, if you’re always waiting for tomorrow, you might be terribly disappointed when it arrives.

There is a Brevity to Life

Even worse, though, than the uncertainty of life is its brevity. The Scripture compares our time on earth to a vapor that appears for just brief time. We are like the morning dew that is gone by noon. Like steam from a stove that disappears in an instant. One day you’re young, the next day you’re old. One day you start your first job, the next day you’re retiring. One day your favorite football coach is celebrating an Egg Bowl victory, the next day you’re reading his obituary online. No matter how much we try, we cannot slow time down. If we aren’t careful, our best plans will slip away from us and never materialize. Most of us fall victim to the lie that we have all the time in the world to turn our good intentions into reality. Thus, James 4:16 adds, “As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.” Regarding our relationship with God, these deceptions can be devastating. We often comfort ourselves with time that we may not have.

I’ll get serious about my walk with God—tomorrow.

I’ll read my Bible and pray more—tomorrow.

I’ll share my faith with my friend—tomorrow.

I’ll take my church membership more seriously—tomorrow.

I’ll serve my community more—tomorrow.

Unfortunately, as the old song says, far too often tomorrow never comes. Every second, 3 people die. Every minute, 180 people die. Every hour, 11,000 people die. Every day, 260,000 people die. Every year, 95 million people die. Most of these people had one thing in common—they never thought it would happen to them. Even as you read these words, you might be thinking, “You tell THEM, pastor!”

What is the lesson here for all of us?

The time to know God, love God, and serve God is NOW. Any priorities we are putting off until later need to move up on our to-do list. And if I may, can I tell you what God wants most from you? 2 Corinthians 6:2 admonishes us that today is the day of salvation.And what does this mean? Today is the day to call on the name of the Lord and be saved (Rom. 10:13). Saved from what, you ask? In a word—sin. Romans 3:23 declares, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and Romans 6:23 explains, “the wages of sin is death.” So, today is the day to look upon Christ who died on the cross and was raised from the dead in order to take our sins away. In fact, Romans 10:9 celebrates, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Why not give your life to Jesus, today? Dr Adam B. Dooley is pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, TN, and author of Hope When Life Unravels. Contact him at adooley@ebcjackson.org. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBDooley.

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