Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21, 2011 - Play hard! Play aware! Play under control!

On Saturday I had the privilege of watching the nation’s leading assist man in division 1 college basketball, Scott Machado of the Iona Gaels. He is a very gifted point guard that makes all of his teammates better. He has great floor vision and great tempo. The thing that stood out the most was that he always appeared under control.

On the other side of the ball was Liberty University’s point guard, Jesse Sanders. Although I don’t think that Jesse has quite the court awareness that Scott possesses; what Jesse has is good court awareness and a motor that never quits. Liberty as a team was pretty flat the first half. (The second half was much better.) Yet Jesse was aggressive and poured it out, making the most of every minute he was on the floor. Those minutes were cut short due to some foul calls on him that had the fans in a frenzy. Normally when you see a player with an aggressive motor like Jesse’s it comes with an aggressive attitude. Yet again I had the privilege of seeing a player that was under control. During the 1st half when Liberty was falling behind on the scoreboard and even in the second half when Jesse’s 5th foul was called he handled his frustration with much grace and composure. (I know because we were blessed to have seats directly behind Liberty’s bench.)

It brings me great joy to see players that are mature on the court. That is the goal of ministry as well. Once evangelism has taken place and a player joins God’s team then discipleship kicks in to help that player mature. (Colossians 1:28, 2 Timothy 3:17)

Would your life be characterized as “under control”? Scott just had great awareness, much like is described in Ephesians 5 when we are told to walk “circumspectly” (being aware of others.) Jesse gives a picture of what the Apostle Paul shares later in that chapter; he epitomizes the man that is “filled with the Spirit” and as a result has an entirely new focus on life.

Ephesians 5: 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Play hard! Play aware! Play under control!

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