Monday, February 23, 2009

You can be a Renaissance Woman!

What exactly does it mean to be a Renaissance Woman?

Please bear with me while I go off into a very long drawn out boring sports story in which only I am interested. It is my blog after all. Mike Leach is the current head coach (yes, football!) of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. (Congratulations Coach on your new contract extension!) He has a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law. Emory Bellard, creator of the Wishbone formation, described Coach Leach as performing the best offensive coordination effort in the country. After his big win against University of Texas in November, while the whole country (ok, college football fans) were talking about Michael Crabtree's last second catch what was he doing? He was quoting an exchange between Winston Churchill and Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in the English House of Commons, from a book he was reading, "The Wicket Wit of Winston Churchill".

Coach Leach has been described as either a Renaissance Man or a flake, maybe both. But what exactly does this term mean? Well, we get a clue from the context of this story. Unless, of course, you tuned my story out, that's been known to happen from time to time. (Don't think I don't notice!) A renaissance man is defined as someone who is skilled in multiple disciplines. This is based on the artists and scholars of the Renaissance Era in history. There is also another term that people like to apply to this level of skill and knowledge called a polymath, which comes from the Greeks.

Why is a becoming a Renaissance Man (at this point we will start changing the title to Renaissance Woman) so important? The greatest of all Renaissance Men was Leonardo da Vinci, and he gave us a great guide for this behavior. See if it sounds familiar to you. Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant man who excelled in all areas of his life. He realized that it was important to build up every part of you. This means not just your mind, but your body, and your soul. In a way, it's like a triangle. If one part of your triangle collapses, so too then do the other two sides.

Ask yourself, how many times you have neglected sleep only to have it affect your ability to think? How many times has a headache affected your mood? The answers to these questions are so obvious that the questions seem almost rhetorical, however I ask them for a reason. Da Vinci said "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

We know these things, but we do not do them. It is so frustrating. Fortunately, God loves us. He gives us grace. The ability to get up and try again tomorrow, and not just tomorrow, but later today. Don't wait until tomorrow!

Also, you are not alone! Paul wrote, in his letter to the Romans, "So the trouble is not with the law...the trouble is with me...I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate...Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." Don't let someone tell you that you cannot do it! You can do it! You just have to figure out what "it" is...don't worry we will talk about that some later today or tomorrow. (You knew we would, right?)

There are many philosophies in existence that discuss the balance of the human being with these parts - mind, body, and soul. All I know is that when I filled the hole in middle of my triangle with God, everything else began to make sense. Somebody greater than Leonardo da Vinci once said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30)

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