Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012 - Openings and Opportunities

You gotta love those moments in sports when the unexpected hero emerges…

Whether it is the back-up quarterback that throws a winning touchdown, a pinch hitter that hits a home run, or the kid off the bench that hits the winning shot… we all love the storyline when a player seizes his opportunity.

This past weekend I watched as a player from Butler University hit a game winner in overtime over the #1 ranked Indiana Hoosiers. It was a great game to watch with many swings in momentum and big name players rising to the occasion. Indiana’s star player Cody Zeller was not having a great game but established his presence late, getting to the line, and recording 18 points. Butler’s star guard, Rotnei Clark, was held in check in the first half but ended up with 19 points including many deep threes that helped swing momentum back to Butler. Indiana’s Victor Oladipo also chipped in 18 points with some incredibly athletic moves and I thought played tremendous defense on Butler’s Clark… In other words the players that were expected to play well all had their moments to shine.

But in overtime, with the score tied late, Butler’s guard Alex Barlow found himself with an opening and an opportunity to be the hero... and he cashed in. Barlow hit a floater in the lane to give Butler the upset victory. ESPN called him the “unlikeliest player on the floor” to make the “biggest shot of the game.”

The beauty of the storyline is that Barlow is a walk-on that turned down scholarship offers in baseball so he could learn to be a basketball coach through Coach Stevens. Now he is the BMOC (big man on campus) and his life is changed forever.

This idea of being unlikely applies as well to the first “evangelists” that came on the scene following the birth of Christ – the Savior. God chose to have His messenger announce the birth, not in the royal courts or among the religious folks, but instead to the shepherds (low-class outcasts in society.) And once they met the Savior they immediately went and told others what they had been told…

They did not stop to ask if they deserved to be spokespeople for God. They didn’t stop to find a more worthy person to spread the good news. These unlikely representatives found themselves with an opportunity and an opening to make take the big shot and they did… The result: the people that heard this message from them “marveled” at it…  and the shepherds lives were changed forever. (See Luke 2:8-20)

How about you? If you had heard the message and met the Savior, you should be looking for openings and seizing opportunities to repeat the message (this CHRISTmas and throughout the year.)

The message: Luke 2: 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

It truly is good tidings (news) and God has chosen you (and me) to be His messengers…

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