There is an old NBA player who was around when I was just a child watching basketball. He was always one of my favorite players, and I even read a little teen-sized biography on him. His name is David Robinson. He played for the San Antonio Spurs, and was a big, tall, muscular guy who just dominated. But you know what I loved about him most? You knew who he was on and off the court. You knew that he would be a solid team leader, someone who everyone else could look up to. He was widely regarded as one of the classiest guys in the NBA during the 90's.
I really gravitate to these kinds of people in general. I have a lot of respect for the kinds of people who are centered and who live with that inner calm. David Robinson was a fierce competitor, but he wasn't a jerk. There is so much to learn from these people who seem to be endowed with an extra-ordinary amount of wisdom. I often think of these people as rest stops on the road of life. They are people you can be around who give you new perspective, who let you get your bearings, and who provide you with some sense of direction for the road ahead.
And we need these people in our lives. We all do. There's not one of us who can do this thing called life on our own, without any help along the way. We need all sorts of David Robinson's who will be an encouragement to us.
I often think the Biblical equivalent to David Robinson was Barnabas, the guy who encouraged and helped Paul. He was a lighthouse, a rest stop, and an encouragement for Paul as he went and told the world about Christ.
We need these people in our lives. And we need to BE these kinds of people as well.
Listening is a good place to start.