There are certain weeks that I must admit that sitting down to write the weekly devotion is a challenge. Sometimes it is due to my own fatigue or maybe even a just a day where ideas are not coming to me and the well seems dry. I am always looking for inspiration from the sports world to turn into teachable moments. Then there are other times the weekly devotion is difficult because I find inspiration from my own shortcomings and get flooded with ideas, often times too many to utilize in a single blog entry.
Late last week I started jotting down some notes for this week’s devotion. I even shared them with Coach Jon as we sat at lunch Friday. I had been listening to the radio on my way to that lunch and heard the DJ talking about staying focused on Christ. Obviously a very common theme in Christian circles…
I immediately started thinking about when I teach shooting on the basketball court. I go step-by-step with the student to teach proper alignment… we want everything pointed at the goal. We discuss feet being pointed at the rim; hips and shoulders in alignment; elbow on the shooting arm in line; straight follow through; and even discussion about training the eyes to stay focused on the rim. (When shots are missed to the right or left it is usually very easy to see what went out of line.)
We discuss what (good shots) vs. (bad shots)…. This goes in detail about staying within one’s range; taking shots that are within the flow of the game; but most importantly making sure you are lined up properly and in rhythm before you take the shot.
I love the passage in Hebrews 12 where we are reminded to “fix our eyes Jesus” (vs. 2)… in other words, stay properly aligned.
Well today brings me to that point where my mind is flooded. Yes I had those ideas for the devotion on Friday, but if I am going to be totally honest I was fighting the pressures of life and had been in a horrible mood throughout the week (and probably longer.) You see it is very easy for even those in ministry to “take bad shots.”
Due to the nature of our job/calling we are often lined up with our feet, hips, shoulders, etc. pointed at the “goal”; yet that can easily take place while fixing our eyes on a different target (usually ourselves.) And the result is “bad shots” that hurt the “team.”
While busy with the work of ministry this past week I still made a total butt-hole of myself to my family due to fixing my eyes on myself, which in turn created a lack of being loving (you know the kindness and patience thing) and instead being a complete jerk.
I was reminded of so many past devotions I have written for these blogs. I remembered writing in 2002 about holiness, only to write a short time later a blog entitled “Coach Blows It.” Well welcome to “Coach Blows It – Part II.”
Please don’t take that to mean it has taken me 11 years to mess up again. I far too often am a man that lets his flesh dictate his attitude and becomes short-tempered and irritable. (Those that have known me for a long time know what a jerk I can be.) Yet certain “bad shots” carry more consequences on the outcome of games. At times they are magnified when they obviously hurt the team.
It was really hard to sit through a reading of 1 Corinthians 13 yesterday in church. With Valentine’s Day on the way obviously love was a big topic. Over and over Pastor Joel “pointed his finger at me” and stated that if I am impatient I am not loving; if I am selfish I am not loving; etc. And at the same time I could “hear” my family saying “Yep, that’s my dad/husband!”
No I didn't outwardly hear those things; nor did Joel literally point his finger at me… but there is still a thing called conviction that takes place in our lives if we will hear from the Scriptures.
Maybe today you are like me in that you keep proper alignment on the things you are doing but have taken your eyes off the goal. If we continue to fix our eyes on Jesus I guarantee that we will see others differently; and stop looking so much at ourselves.
To my family, I am very sorry for falling so short. I do love you all dearly and would rather die than hurt you in any way. I am trying to refocus more on the goal!
To everyone else reading this, I hope and pray you will get properly aligned not just in what you do but in how you love!
(1 Corinthians 13:8) Love never fails!