Read Matthew 6:19-24.
“Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (vv. 20, 21).
When Jim Wells retired in 2009 as Alabama’s head baseball coach, it wasn’t the first time. In 2007, he had stepped down for six days before he had a change of heart.
Wells left the Tide dugout as the winningest coach in school baseball history. He led Alabama for fifteen seasons, compiling a 625-322 record. He coached the Tide to three appearances in the College World Series including a runner-up finish in 1997. His teams won SEC titles in 1996 and 2006, claimed six SEC tournament championships, and made twelve NCAA regional tournament appearances.
Wells’ retirement was “swift, self-effacing and seamless.” He even hand-picked his successor, assistant coach Mitch Gaspard.
Maybe the change was so easy because Wells had practice at retiring. In June 2007, he abruptly resigned. Athletics Director Mal Moore tried to talk him into staying on at least through the 2008 season, but Wells was adamant. “After having several conversations with Jim over the last few days,” Moore said, “it became evident to me that he feels strongly about this decision.”
Not strongly enough, as it turned out. Wells’ retirement lasted only six days. On Wednesday after he had retired on Thursday, he met with Moore again and told his boss he had had a change of heart. Moore apparently wasn’t too surprised; he had not been in a big hurry to name a replacement.
What happened, plain and simple, was that Wells realized he had made a mistake. “I haven’t slept in six days,” he said. “I saw how much I missed it.” By Monday, Wells said, his heart was leading him to change his mind. “I realized what I had after I let it go, and I wanted to get it back.”
So in 2007, Jim Wells retired and then unretired because he had a change of heart. In 2009, he knew in his heart that this time it was time.
As Jim Wells did, we often face decisions in life that force us to lead with our heart rather than our head. Our head says take that job with the salary increase; our heart says don’t relocate because the kids are doing so well. Our head declares now is not the time to start a relationship; our heart insists that we’re in love.
We wrestle with our head and our heart as we determine what matters the most to us. When it comes to the ultimate priority in our lives, though, our head and our heart tell us it’s Jesus.
What that means for our lives is a resolution of the conflict we face daily: That of choosing between the values of our culture and a life of trust in and obedience to God. The two may occasionally be compatible, but when they’re not, our head tells us what Jesus wants us to do; our heart tells us how right it is that we do it.
I knew the decision wasn’t right. — Jim Wells about his 2007 retirement
In our struggle with competing value systems, our head and our heart lead us to follow Jesus.