While recently on vacation I read a wonderful book, titled, The Best Seat in The House. It was written by Jack Nicklaus II and it is about his father, Jack Nicklaus. While my article this week isn’t about this book, I do want to take a brief moment and share these thoughts with you about this book.

First, can you only imagine what it would be like to live with what we call in athletics a G.O.A.T., defined as the Greatest of All Time, and thus the acronym listed above. No matter the sport there are players who seem to simply be the greatest, for ex. Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods in golf, Simone Biles in Gymnastics (who performed just last month in Little Rock), Tom Brady in Football, Michael Jordan or LeBron James in basketball, Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth in baseball.

Well, we could go on and on for each sport but I can only imagine what it must be like to live with one of these athletes. Well, the book I’m sharing with you gives you this perspective and after reading it (which I highly encourage you to do), you will find that Jack Nicklaus is even a better man than he is a golfer.

Our topic this week comes from the book. Jack’s wife, Barbara is quoted in the book as saying that all men need in life is Food, Love and Encouragement. This was in reply to a question she got from a friend about how she helps her husband in life and golf. While I might debate those being the only things a man needs, I do understand those might indeed be the basics of what a man or person may need in their life, so this week our article will explore how these three items impact our lives.

FOOD: well of course we all need nourishment. But what is your favorite food? We live in a society that I believe has a desire to eat healthy foods, so for a moment I want us to think outside the box so to say. What is your favorite go to food, maybe even if it isn’t healthy? Sometimes I think it is important to splurge and enjoy any food of your choice.

A wonderful friend of mine, who happens to have been a world class athlete, Henry Hawk told me long ago that when he was in his best shape of life, he would monitor for six days a week his diet, but on one day a week, he simply allowed himself to enjoy any foods of his choice, chocolate, fatty foods, etc…he said you simply cannot cheat your body. His point was that if you cannot cheat on your diet and lose weight or excel in competitions, but you also cannot starve yourself of those items that you find enjoyable, so for one day a week, he had no strings attached to his eating. Now, today he is no longer competing, but if you know him or were to see him, you’d know he is in excellent physical shape. Food is necessary, eat healthy and make wise choices, but also allow yourself the enjoyment of your pleasure food from time to time, as this is so very important for your body.

LOVE: We all need someone to love in our lives and equally as important is someone to love us. I can’t begin to talk about love and not think of how my life has been so blessed by God sending my wife into my life some 40 years ago. The love and warmth that I get to enjoy daily simply makes me want to live my life ever so better.

The apostle Paul speaks a lot about love in his letters, especially to the church in Corinth. In fact, he tells them that I do anything in life and do it without love, then, I’m merely just a clanging cymbal (paraphrasing for sure here for space). Love to me is living life other centered, wanting to share blessings with those close to you and seeing joy in their lives as you share your love with them. Let love guide your actions in life and I dare say your life will be filled with many blessings.

ENCOURAGEMENT: where would be all be in life without encouragement? Life is so full of rocky roads that having someone to lift you up can be such an amazing joy. While indeed getting daily encouragement from the loved ones in your life is special and needed, also encouragement from others will bless you as well. I read a quote by Pastor Dallas Willard (deceased) that said, if you get to a point in your life where you can truly rejoice when others around you are successful, then you will have stepped over a threshold of kindness and joy.

Wishing the best for others and encouraging them to bet their best is truly living other centered lives….(note: an example of this was shown on television just this past Saturday. The ending of the Ark vs MSU football game happened when the kicker from MSU missed a kick that would have tied the game. The kicker from Ark is truly shown on tv as encouraging him after this miss, what a kind act shown by a competitor). Let us take the steps necessary to encourage those in our lives and just see how blessed our lives will truly be.

Well, as we’ve come to our close this week, just remember food, love and encouragement were all Mrs. Nicklaus thought her husband needed and his track record turned out pretty good. So maybe that is good enough for us as well. Until next week.

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