Unless you have no access to a television or newspaper, I’m sure you all know about “March Madness”. We’ve been watching a lot of basketball lately and thankfully, at least three of our Indiana teams are still in the game (Butler, Purdue and Notre Dame). We’ll see what happens today but I am an optimist. One thing is for sure, all the players want the prize.
I’ve noticed that basketball is a lot like life. It’s a battle on the court but the preparation takes place before the game. It takes a commitment first of all, a passion certainly helps, discipline, a will or desire to improve and ultimately win, a game plan and strategy and obviously, a coach and players. I’ve always heard that practice makes perfect and we can certainly see the practice paying off at the free throw line. It also helps to know your opponent and their strengths and weaknesses. This all happens before the actual game. Then even during the game, the coach and players improvise. You see the coach using his slate to give directions/plays to the players as the game progresses. The players have to use their skills in the middle of the action and make decisions quickly because…the ball moves around from one set of hands to another and bounces off of people, floor and basket. They have to be so well prepared that they can react in the midst of it all with quick reflexes.
Such is life. Balls come at us from all directions. Some are good and positive things, others come to distract us from our game and get us to foul out. Our opponent also has a game plan. It’s to get us out of the game and to win our hearts and minds away from God and onto self. He has a variety of tactics he uses. Sometimes he uses our past mistakes, failures, disappointments, regrets, etc. Sometimes he tempts us with things we really like or want. He wants to steal our passion, drive, commitment, purpose and plan. He wants us defeated in the worst way. That’s where our preparation comes in. We have to be prepared to fight off his attacks because they will come.
As Christians, we are part of a team as well. We have the best coach ever – God Himself. We have Jesus Christ interceding on our behalf. We have the Holy Spirit living in us to guide and direct us during the game. We also have teammates (fellow believers) who will come alongside us to encourage and hold us accountable. They can remind us of our game plan, goals and objectives and guide us back to our coach’s instruction (The Word of God).
For all the efforts our opponent takes to get us on the losing end and out of the game, let’s remember…God has a plan for us. It’s a good plan. We need to stay in or get back in the game, keep our eyes focused on our coach and follow His direction and look toward the prize set before us. We can all be winners through Christ.
I say, “Let’s Go Team – on to Victory in Jesus”!
Philippians 3:14 – “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”