Stay in the game all four quarters

Published 3:36 pm Friday, November 27, 2009

The work that coaches do often seems unappreciated, but they are truly an asset to this city.

The game of basketball has a great lesson for us. The coach wants us to know first that we have an opponent and, second, that the game is played in four quarters, not the first few minutes. It’s not how well you start, but how you are able to endure.

Realize that your opponent is studying you. He watches film from the games you won to check out your moves. And he studies the games you lost to see how you were tempted so that he can use those same tactics again.

Your opponent notices that when you go right (do right), you are strong with the dribble, but when you go left (do wrong), you are weak and therefore you turn over the ball. He learned that when the ball is in your hands, you are a force to reckon with, but without the ball you get frustrated and remain out of the play. If he can get you in foul trouble early (while you are young) then you will spend most of your time (life) on the bench watching and feeling guilty for putting yourself in the wrong position.

You are quick off the fast break, and you even have a great crossover, but one hard blow to the chest (like the loss of a love one) will keep you from coming into the paint (church).

So you’ve got game, you can shoot the lights out of a 2-3 zone defense but you struggle in man-to-man defense when you are face-to-face with the enemy. Why? Because he’s hand checking you and you are constantly complaining to the ref, “Why dont you stop him?” But the ref tells you to “do something about it.”

So you buckle down and do something about it only to find out in the last minutes of the game when time is running out, the hand checking and fouls increase. The opposition fouls repeatedly, and they go even further to foul players who don’t even have the ball in their hands.

But rejoice during your season of attack, for it is an indication that your calling, your anointing, is assuring you victory.

As the apostle Paul wrote, “We glory in tribulations also.” So instead of thinking about throwing in the towel, realize that you have home-field advantage and more are cheering for you than you think.

So keep your eyes on the basket (Jesus), square your shoulders, bend your knees, flick your wrist, and release your problems into the very hands of God, and you will hear the sound of “SWOOSH.”

Daddy loves you!