To make it through the bottoms of life and have the ultimate success, you have to be a real results person. Not a results person, a real results person. You have to be a process person. You have to believe in the process.
My favorite basketball team, the Boston Celtics, have had some of the greatest basketball teams that there are for the past 6 years. But now they have lost their best players, and they are not going to be a good basketball team anymore. They hope to be a great team again, but in the short term, they are not going to be a good team. They are going to reach a bottom.
They also just chose a new coach have a new coach. Brad Stevens, who comes from coaching college basketball, had a lot of success at Butler University starting from the bottom. One of the words that you will hear a lot when people talk about him is “process”. He had a lot of success because he is a believer – a believer in process. Now, the Boston Celtics have won more basketball championships than any other team. Results like that are a big attraction for a coach or a player to come to the team, even when it’s at the bottom. But what won him over to going to the Celtics is that they also are believers in process: “I appreciated that the Celtics not only had a commitment to winning, but to the process as well.”
See, when you’re a process person, you don’t know exactly where you’re going to end up. You realize that you don’t have control over results in life. You know it may take a long time to get them. But you know that in order to do a great thing, you have to first be great. And you believe that the process will take you there. For the Celtics, the ultimate success is not winning the championship. It’s being a championship team. Championship teams can win championships. And to be that when you are starting at the bottom, you have to let go of eyeing up the results and trust in the process.
When Jesus was about to leave His disciples to go to God in heaven, He tells them that they know the way to heaven. Of course, as always, they were completely confused. OK, they are going to lose the one that they left everything to follow. That means no more great healings and amazed people and the miraculous adventure you’ve been on. You’re going to be at the bottom. And then, I mean, just exactly where is this house is that Jesus’ Father has lined up for them? How can you start to figure out how to get somewhere from the bottom if you don’t know where you’re trying to get to?
But that’s when Jesus says that He is the way to heaven. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6) He is going to spell it out for them in the next 24 hours: the Cross. He is telling His disciples to believe in the way of the cross. The crosses will lead you from the bottom to the ultimate success. They will take you to heaven. He says, Be a crosses person. Be a real results person. I’ll take care of everything else.
When we are at a bottom, results are hard to find. Successful marriage, success for the kids, the right career, money, friends, the right home, great vacations. Getting them isn’t all in our control. We may not get them. But we can get the ultimate result. We have to let go of getting results, and become real results people. We have to become believers.
Believe in the Crosses.
“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23)