Monday, September 12, 2011
September 12, 2011 - My Stupid Son
Back a few months ago, before my son Clay had his knee injury, he was playing for an AAU travel team called the Carolina Surge. It was a great honor for Clay to be a part of that team as it put him in position to play a lot of highly-scouted tournaments. It also gave him the opportunity to be coached by some great guys that truly care about him. (Thanks Larry, Jeff, Harry) During the tryout for the team Clay was very aggressive and showed the things the coaches were looking for. He played very strong. I remember the joy he had when he found out that he was a member of the Surge. Clay’s injury came during their third tournament I believe; and to be honest it came at a time when Clay’s playing time was dwindling a bit. It wasn’t dwindling because he was not talented. It wasn’t dwindling because he had a bad attitude. It was dwindling because he was being stupid! I know, I know…that doesn’t sound politically correct; but truth is truth. The question is why I would go as far as saying my own son was being stupid? And why would I bring it up now after he has been out of commission for the last 5 months? First the answer to the second question: I think he is far enough along now to not have this be adding insult to injury. Instead I think now it can be a great learning experience for him, and for us. Now to the first question: why call him stupid? I will start by saying that it has nothing to do with his knowledge of the game. He has a very strong basketball I.Q. Years ago I wrote about Clay in one of the weekly devotions when he had played a game against a very athletic team, ran the point, and had no turnovers. Yet that particular game he simply tried to stay out of trouble by doing a lot of East-West movement on the court instead of attacking North-South. Basically I called out Clay (and ultimately believers in Christ) to stop being passive and do what we are called on to do! In the case of Clay’s time with the Surge, he had made the team by being a threat offensively. He caught the coaches’ eyes by being aggressive. Yet in the tourneys leading up to his injury he had resigned himself to being a facilitator for his teammates and not being aggressive. It is great to facilitate for others, but one also has to fill his role. So why do I call that stupid? Clay’s coaches were regularly telling him to be more aggressive. They were telling him to create more; to penetrate more; to shoot more… Again his attitude was pretty good toward the coaches, but he simply was not doing what they were asking of him. To know what a coach wants and to ignore it is stupid. To willfully not obtain he coach’s favor is stupid. (On a positive note – I think his time being laid up with the injury has a bit of a fire of aggression burning inside of him… - I am looking forward to seeing him back out on the court.) Now on to the spiritual application… Why are we so stupid? We know what God has asked/commanded of us, yet we willfully ignore it. Did you know that God calls that stupid? Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. The literal phrase from Hebrew indicates a word picture of “stupid as a cow.” It goes on in the next verse to mention that “a good man obtains favor from the Lord” – just as a good player finds favor from his coach. You see playing time is showing a coach’s favor. Therefore dwindling playing time generally means a loss of favor. God wants you “in the game”! He wants to use you. Yet we need to study and apply His Word to our lives, and stop being stupid!