It's March madness time. NCAA Men's Basketball tournament is in full swing. And, judging by my last glance at Sports Center a lot of games this last week have won or lost on poise. The most successful basketball coach in NCAA history, John Wooden, listed poise among the top virtues in his famous "Pyramid of Success".
Poise. It's a weird word and definitely underrated. Don't hear many folks speak of it these days. So what is poise anyway?
Poise is the ability to keep one’s head when all those around are losing theirs. It is the ability to keep a larger, stabilizing perspective in mind when our little worlds seem to be collapsing . Men of Scripture often acted with poise. Daniel defied an empire and spent the night with lions with poise at his side. David’s steady hand carefully selected five smooth stones with poise written all over them. Jesus’ eye to eye showdown with Pontius Pilate…”You would have nothing if the Father had not given it to you” was done with the calm authority of a man who exuded great poise.
Poise. We live in anxious times. We live in a nerve-racked, unsettled culture with a media that offers a thousand new flurries of fears daily. We can let these nerve-racking flurries settle deep inside us, creating an anxiety avalanche in our soul. Or, we can choose to live with poise. We can choose to live guided by the confidence that God is with us, "to whom shall I be afraid?"
As you see a nervous player at the free-throw line this week sweating bullets under a load of stress, be reminded of how often life puts us in the same situation. And, before you shoot aimlessly take a breathe deeply, relax and remember God's in control.