Back in the day basketball was my life and I had all the shirts to prove it! "Basketball is life the rest is just details!" "When I die bury me with my basketball!" and even one with the 10 commandments of basketball. I'm not saying sports are bad, actually they provide many lessons for life, but in my case it was an idol and that's not a good thing, but that's a whole nother story...
So back to the question at hand, during my high school years we often had poems and motivational quotes posted in the lockerroom and last week one came back to mind, "Basketball is supposed to be hard, if it was easy everyone would do it!" As a team we prided ourselves on this statement. It wasn’t easy running until you could no longer move, losing games you were supposed to win or dealing with mistakes you made, but we loved the game and there was satisfaction in doing something not everyone could do.
And really when it was a challenge is when I felt success. The games that were close were the ones I enjoyed the most - it was when I had to give my all that I felt the best. Was it easy? No. Hard? Yes! Worth it? For sure!!
Now though my playing days have long since passed me by and it’s even been a few years since I was the coach the quote I shared above has come back to mind. You see this last week I’ve been preparing for a book talk about my recently published book (for those who don’t know it’s a personal look at spiritual mentoring and the role it’s played in my life) at my hometown (very small hometown I might add) library.
Anyway in the days leading up to the event I felt myself getting nervous and at times fear would set in, so much so that late last week I remember asking God, “Why can’t it just be easy?” Instantly I recalled the quote above, but this time I wasn’t thinking about basketball, but instead my walk of faith. Honestly at the time it wasn’t the most comforting thought, in a way I think I’d been holding out hope that eventually following God and going where He leads would become easier.
Last night the event was held - I survived and God spoke. I pray He spoke thru me, but I know He spoke to me. As I drove home encouraged by what He had done this quote came back to mind - perhaps this is a stretched analogy, but bare with me here, in a way life is like a game, but in this league there are only two teams - God’s and the opposition. We’re either for Him or against Him and if you’re on His team there is no greater coach.
As the year comes to an end my mind tends to reflect and I’m amazed at what God has asked me and strengthened me to do. But that’s what makes Him, “Coach of the Year” again and again - He believes in me, equips me, encourages me, gives me the gameplan, prepares me and leads me into battle. Though there’s no headlines in the sports section or championship trophies on the shelf, He’s reminded me one day this game will end and the heavenly rewards will be eternal!
Back in the day I loved a game, which pushed me through the pain and made it worth it, but today I love my heavenly Father, who carries me through pain and says I am worth it! Yes the competition is fierce at times and this season that never ends is definitely not a cake walk, but someday I will take a victory lap!! Thank you Lord!!