There they were. Three young people playing basketball. What fun they were having! Laughing, jumping, hot doggin’ it with visions of greatness in their minds. WNBA, here we come!
I started counting their shots. One. Two. Three. Finally, a shot cleared the rim and then fell through the ragged net. Shouts of joy erupted, along with hand slappin’ and high fives for everyone.
They kept playing. I kept count. Two shots out of ten trickled through the net. That’s only twenty percent. No basketball coach worth his salt would be satisfied with that. Soon the count reached four out of sixteen. Then I stopped counting and started thinking. Those young girls have a lot to teach us about reaching out for our goals.
First, they weren’t afraid to miss. In fact, missing the goal seemed to be their specialty. Still, they just kept shooting. I wonder, how many of us never tackle challenges for fear of failure?
Second, they were having fun! While their stats were poor, they were still enjoying the effort. In reality, they barely had the strength to get the ball up to the rim at all! Yet there they were, together and having a wonderful time.
Third, they didn’t give up. Even though most of their shots didn’t drop in - - most didn’t even reach the rim - - they just kept tossing that ball up there with unbounded enthusiasm.
The fourth thing I observed about these young people at play was how they were encouraging one another. How many Christians would have reached maturity in the Lord, rather than falling by the wayside, if someone had just clapped their hands and encouraged them?
Last, these young people never took their eyes off the goal. Just imagine this scene. Visualize those young basketball players. They’re all looking up, focused on a high up goal. How we need to learn to keep our eyes up on Jesus.
It is so easy to allow our priorities to get out of whack. We focus on things that - - in view of the vastness of eternity - - really don’t matter much. These things may seem to be urgent; but, if they cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus, are they good for our lives? Becoming Christ-like is the end towards which we encourage others. We must never give up on this goal and this is a journey we can all take with joy.
- Bill Williams