AMERICA NEEDS SOME PIONEERS
Coach Dave Daubenmire
June 26, 2008
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6
I am by nature an optimist. I know that many of you may be surprised by that because I spend so much time pointing out the problems in America. But I do that because I believe in us. We can be so much better and do so much more than we are doing now.
I get so frustrated that our team won’t play. As the sports announcers like to say after a sure win suddenly becomes a loss “they let that one slip through their fingers.” Well, in my mind that is America. We sure have let her slip through our fingers.
I flew into Boise, Idaho a few weeks ago and as we were sinking out of the clouds the majestic Rocky Mountains came into view. The sight was overwhelming and the realization once again of the mighty hand of our Creator.
Suddenly my thoughts turned to the pioneers…Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Louis and Clark…all of the heroes they used to teach about in schools before the revisionist historians got control. What must have those in the covered wagons have thought when they found themselves on the shores of the Mississippi River, when faced with scaling the majestic mountains of the West, or face-to-face with a bear? Remember what the song said about Davy Crockett? “He killed him a bar when he was only three.”
A pioneer is a person who is among those who first enter or settle a region, thus opening it for occupation and development by others. America was built by pioneers. We owe all that we are to them. They cut a path so the journey would be easier for others.
I have to admit that sometimes I start feeling sorry for myself. It is so easy to get caught up in a pity party…you know how they go. “No one appreciates me. Why won’t anyone listen to me? Am I the only one who cares? But my spirits were lifted the other day when I got an email from a stranger. It was simple, but kind, but there was a phrase in there I couldn’t get away from. “You are a pioneer, Coach. You lead the way for the rest of us. I know you get a lot of burrs in your shoes and branches in the face. But someone has to do it. Keep showing us the way.”
It doesn’t take much to egg me on.
Let me ask you something. What has happened to America? Where is that pioneer spirit? It flows through our blood, it is in our DNA, and we are a nation of achievers. What has become of our spunk?
I remember a phrase that one of my coaches used on me one time. “If you think you can…or if you think you can’t…you’re right.”
But let me give you fair warning. You will always face those who want to tell you that it can’t be done. That’s half the fun…proving that it can.
Do you have what it takes? Are you a pioneer? Is it possible that you might be holding the key to a world-changing idea? Sadly, so many men carry their dreams to the grave. Ponder these ten characteristics of a pioneer. I don’t know where I found them but they have encouraged me in lonely times.
A pioneer ventures into unknown territory. He cuts a path were few have gone. Want to make a difference? Here are the requirements.
You can’t be afraid of risk. “God has not given you
the spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
• You can’t be paralyzed by comfort. “To have something you’ve never had you are going to have to do something you have never done.”
• Quit worrying about peer approval. If they knew how to do it would already be done. “The fear of man brings a snare.” Prov. 29:25
• You must have resolute vision. You overcome obstacles by keeping your eyes on the prize. Where there is no vision the people perish. Prov. 29:18
• You must not need the praise of man. "If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference." Abe Lincoln
• You must be internally motivated. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Prov 23:7. Your eyes will deceive you.
• You must trust in the supernatural intervention of God. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight” Prov. 3:5
• Move forward even when unsure. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8.
• Make mistakes so others won’t have to. Thomas Edison said, “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is just one more step forward.”
• You will need grace to stand against negative reactions. “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat” Teddy Roosevelt.
Enough already of the helplessness. Enough already of the doom and gloom. Where would we be today if the pioneers before us looked to the government for all of the answers? This is the land of opportunity.
So, during one of my pity parties with the Lord I was searching through the Scriptures for some encouragement. I came upon the 23rd Psalm and that one phrase jumped out at me.
“Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” I put the Bible down.
“You’ve got that one backwards Lord,” I whined to him. “This ministry you called me to is so hard. It would be so much easier if goodness and mercy were in front of me. You could make it so much easier.”
“Oh Coach,” the thought ricocheted back to me. “There you go thinking about you again. You are a pioneer. Goodness and mercy is following you….it is what you are leaving behind…what is left of after you come through….making it easier for those who follow you.”
We only get one shot at this life. Of all of the times ever to have been born can you think of a more exciting time than the days in which we live? One of my friends said to me one time, “Boy Coach, it always seems as if you are out there on the edge of the limb.”
“Yep,” I Cheshire-grinned back at him. “Out on the limb is where all of the fruit hangs.”
“Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
“Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
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“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” I Cor. 2:9-10
What is holding you back? It is time America got over her pity party.
Let’s awaken that pioneer spirit!
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