Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012 - Up On Our Toes and First To The Floor

On Saturday I watched one of the surprise basketball games of the year. The Florida State Seminoles beat the North Carolina Tar Heels so badly that it led Dick Vitale to call it “humiliating.”
The shock was not so much that FSU won the game but how they did it. Yes the game was in Tallahassee at FSU so UNC had to know it would be a tough match-up. Yes FSU is a very strong defensive team, but not supposed to be able to stop the studs from UNC. If it would have been a good game and FSU had won it would be chalked up to an “upset” but such is life on the road in a major conference.

But remember the word I said the Dickie V used? Humiliating! FSU didn’t just win; they crushed UNC by the score of 90-57. FSU is a team that had themselves been beaten by 20 the game before by Clemson. UNC came in ranked 3rd in the nation and riding a 9-game winning streak. So what happened?

Well from a coach’s perspective I will give a couple things. One, it was simply FSU’s night where they were shooting light’s out and playing with great energy. Second, UNC was simply not ready. As I watched I saw FSU’s guys getting to what seemed like every loose ball – FSU was first to the floor! I watched FSU outrebound UNC in spite of UNC’s height and length. I saw the Tar Heels playing back on their heels while the Seminoles were up on their toes. This was not as much a case of what UNC was doing wrong as much as what UNC wasn’t doing right. So why does this happen.

Carolina had played their last 9 games at home in Chapel Hill. I believe they had become comfortable. I believe they were not ready to face the hostile environment of a road game.

This lack of readiness and energy is what led to the description of “humiliating.” That is the word unfortunately I would use to describe the church.

I think we have played way to many passionate “home games” meeting regularly in the church and when we get into the “road games” we play with no passion and no spiritual energy. I believe we miss opportunities to make a difference in other people’s lives on a daily basis because we would rather just wait and “play at home.” Oh we may invite someone to church but that simply is not enough. To wait to minister in others’ lives is the equivalent of not getting to the loose ball – the enemy is far too often “first to the floor.” It is the equivalent of playing life on our spiritual heels instead of up on our toes. We simply are not ready!

I challenge you to become a servant daily – yes to humble or lower yourself to be “first to the floor.” Make other people a priority in your life. Live (play) life with a passion for Jesus Christ. Be ready to run to an opportunity to serve.

Dickie V went on to say that he used the word “humiliating” because he felt the UNC players had forgotten what it means to wear a jersey that says and represents UNC. I use the word “humiliating” because I think the church in general has forgotten what it means to wear and represent the name of Christ!

Ephesians 2:19 says that we are “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Do you get that? You and I as believers in Christ are wearing a different jersey and we need to do more than show up for “home games” on Sundays!

We are told to take advantage of – or redeem – the time we have (Ephesians 5:16.) We need to make every day count!

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