Saturday, January 25, 2020

More than a Game

I found myself in the gym yet again today...I've been there a lot these last few months, but today I wasn't a coach or a mom, I was a fan. The change of pace was good and I was reminded of much. I had plenty of time to reflect on our 2+ hour drive home from Ames and I'm grateful for all I learned. Perhaps there's a lesson for you as well!

First of all, basketball is more than a game. It is a form of entertainment...especially at the D1 level with the pep band, jumbotron and constant noise. The game brings joy as well...a big shot, nice defensive play and all out hustle bring smiles to faces and creates claps in the crowd. Deeper joy comes when you see the bench celebrate the starters' success and watch a gal offer her opponent help getting up.

Secondly, basketball is not just about X's and O's or winning and losing, it's about people. Without the responsibility of coaching and nervousness of watching my children, I had more freedom to observe. What I saw reminded me of the relationships that are built on the basketball court. The old saying is true - "You won't remember all the games, but you'll never forget your teammates." Bonds are built as you strive to win. People are impacted when you play together. It's vital to remember that the things we say and do are impacting others.

Following the game, my almost 13 year old daughter, Jaylyn had the chance to meet up with her coach from summer camp. She's been looking forward to this for days and enjoyed every minute she spent with Maddie. This reminds me of the importance of role models. At camp, Jaylyn learned skills for the game and today in our conversation with Maddie she heard about life and saw an example of a young woman she can someday be...maybe on the court, but more importantly off of it.

Finally, basketball is something God can use. Driving down today I had a flashback to June when Jaylyn first met Maddie. God clearly connected them that day and blessed Jaylyn immensely through Maddie's enthusiasm for the game and love for the campers. He then kept them connected via social media. Jaylyn even asked her to pray for me last fall when I was in the ER and this winter we've been praying for her as she's dealt with migraines. And today He blessed us as we shared time together following the Cyclones win.

Our visit brought back memories of conversations I had in the bleachers when I was 20 as well. Back then I wasn't yet a born again believer, but God used the game to connect my heart with a mentor who pointed me to Him. Basketball was just a tool God used to draw me to Christ.

Basketball truly is more than a game. It creates joy, connects people and is part of God's plan. But friend, that's not just true for basketball. It's true for your hobby too! And not just your hobby, but your job as well. What you do is important!

Today was an early birthday celebration for my girl, but also served as a wonderful midseason perspective check for me. In the day to day grind it can be easy to go through the motions and focus on the work, but may we remember more important than the what is the who and why. Going forward may we truly see the people on our path, intentionally pour into them and purposely trust the One who is leading us and we are praying to.

Friend, I hope this look at basketball being more than a game has encouraged you! I pray we're all reminded to live out Colossians 3:17 - "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."