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Are you ready to go the distance?
During the school holidays I found myself needing a bit of sports fix so I started watching some old footy and cricket games online. One evening my TV sports app gave me an auto-suggestion to watch a show called “The Mike Tyson Marathon”, which was just all of his biggest fights unedited, including the before and after fight coverage and analysis.
I must admit that I know nothing about boxing and only have a vague idea of who Mike Tyson is as a boxer. In my mind he is some old boxer who did a lot of bad stuff, spent time in jail, bit someone’s ear, has a face tattoo, has done some really bad acting, and has a high-pitched voice for someone so big and tough. Like I said, I know nothing about boxing!
I’m not sure what made me hit play that night, but I did and I ended up watching with fascination. The first thing that drew me in was the cheesy 80s sports presentation, but once the boxing started I was really amazed by just how good Mike Tyson was.
He was just 19 when he turned professional and he started his career with 19 straight knockouts, 12 of which were in the first round, and man did he have some power! But to add to that he was fast, had a great defence and was hungry for success. He became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion ever when he won at age 20, and he had the world at his feet. Experts were debating if he was destined to become the greatest fighter ever, even Muhammad Ali said that it was only a matter of time before Tyson would be better than he ever was!
So, what on Earth does this have to do with Christian education???
Well it’s all about what happened next in the career of “Iron Mike”. He became entranced with the trappings of fame and fortune. He surrounded himself with people who told him what he wanted to hear, not what he needed to hear. He started to resent hard work and wanted to get by on his immense talent alone.
The experts say that the day everything started to fall apart was the day he fired his trainer, Kevin Rooney, who had brought him through those early years. Rooney trained Tyson for 35 fights, and he had a perfect record. He was disciplined, focussed and determined to succeed.
Without Rooney’s guidance and steadying influence, Tyson was tempted by the lifestyle of the rich and famous. His boxing career stalled, he got knocked out for the first time ever and lost his titles. Not long after, he ended up in jail.
It really struck me just how impactful Tyson’s “teacher” was on his career. Here was a guy with all the God-given talent and natural qualities that someone could ever want to be a success in boxing, but without the proper guidance it all went to waste. Talent alone is simply not enough.
Here at PCS we are proud that we just don’t focus on marks or grades as we teach our students. We don’t let them just skate by on their natural talents. We challenge them to be people of good character and to understand that success comes from being the best version of yourself, rather than being the best. Sometimes our students have to face tough truths, but we know it’s what they need to hear to help them learn and be better.
The Bible confirms that who we are is more important than parading our achievements around in front of people, and God isn’t impressed with our material achievements, but He is impressed by the way we face challenges; the way we treat other people, and the character we display.
So students, remember that as teachers we are in your corner and ready to help you fight the good fight. Are you ready to go the distance?