Don Shula won more games as an NFL football coach than any other coach. His Miami Dolphins teams won two Super Bowls, and the 1972 Dolphins are the only team in NFL history to go through an entire season, including the playoffs and Super Bowl, undefeated. Needless to say, Shula was something of a celebrity, especially in South Florida. For that matter, he still is.
At the height of Shula’s popularity, he and his wife took a vacation. Since they wanted to go someplace where Shula wouldn’t be recognized, they decided to visit a small town in Maine. One night while they were there they went to the local theater to watch a movie. As soon as they walked into the theater everyone in the audience stood up and applauded. Shula was not only embarrassed but a bit annoyed by the ovation. As he took his seat he leaned over to the fellow next to him and said, “I didn’t think you would recognize me.” Puzzled, the fellow asked, “Am I supposed to know you?” Shula replied, “I’m Don Shula of the Miami Dolphins.” The man said, “Well, that’s nice, but we stood up and applauded because the manager said that if two more people didn’t show up he wouldn’t run the movie.”
And what lesson did we just learn, class? Some words from Romans 12:3 sum it up nicely:
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (N.K.J.V.)
Look, I’m not picking on Don Shula. If I was in his shoes that night, I’d no doubt have assumed the same thing. The truth is, we all need a refresher course in this lesson every now and then. As a matter of fact, each of us should be on the lookout because ours just might be coming today.