Last week’s devotion keyed on playing to win… not just to survive. I also said I would expand on that thought a little bit… and as I prepared to type tonight, a Facebook memory popped up reminding me that exactly 1 year ago I was being rushed to a hospital and things didn’t look good. But here we are a year later, and I get told often about what a miracle it is! Obviously, I am incredibly thankful to be a survivor! I am overwhelmed to even look back and read all the prayer requests went out for me and the family! I will celebrate the past, but I refuse to live in it… I won’t play to survive, but instead, survive to play… I love “the game”!
I was just having a talk today with my daughter Faith about her middle school basketball team. Last week we had a couple of bad practices; one was so bad that I told a bunch of middle school girls that it they didn’t want to play they shouldn’t be there. There was no joy in the gym… no excitement to get to play the game. Then we had a game Friday afternoon and things changed. The girls openly expressed how much fun they were having… how they liked the new game plan I put in… and it showed on the floor. Then Saturday came and we had another game… only to find ourselves with many of the girls looking, and playing, like they couldn’t wait for the game to be over.
So, what was the difference? (Faith and I discussed this very question.) This is a middle school… it is not made up of players that love the game… they like it… they enjoy it (at times)… they don’t love it. There was one glaring difference on Friday, we were much better than our opponent and finding a lot of success on the court; Saturday, not so much so. It’s not that Saturday’s opponent was glaringly better, but they were very aggressive and took us out of our game. And when adversity hit during the game, our like for the game disappeared… there was no joy on the court. (I do have to say this was not true of all our girls. We have a few that love to get after it and play the game!)
I told my daughter that I have never laced up my basketball shoes without playing hard and intending to win… and shared the Vince Lombardi idea that I never lost, I just ran out of time.
If you want to see if someone really loves the game, watch him when adversity hits! Does he crumble, or does he keep playing hard? When he gets a lead, does he play it safe, or does he keep playing?
Lace up your shoes with a purpose!
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Proverbs 24:10
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. Colossians 4:5-6
I still love to step out on a basketball court… I love to step out into the court of life… I love that God has given me more days… days to live… days to make a difference!
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11