I love playing basketball. I played in high school and I used to play pick up basketball all the time. I was actually pretty good. I could play from morning until night. Right now, I still love playing basketball. I’m still pretty good, but I just can’t play for long.
On Wednesday night, I played with the high school boys at church. I had my team winning. I was scoring points, grabbing rebounds, throwing assists. I was the Lebron James of our parking lot. I hit what I thought was the game winning jump shot. Then they decided to “run it” and keep playing until 15. I knew I was in trouble.
While I haven’t lost too much from the old days when playing a short game, I’m too out of shape for a long game. Through sheer will I was able to hang on and keep going. We were up 14 to 13 and then I hear the dreaded word “deuce” – meaning you have to win by two. Of course, we miss our next shot and then they tie it up. We went back and forth until finally, with me on the verge of exhaution, they won 19-17.
As I am sitting, heaving on the grass. I look up and tell the smart adults, who didn’t play, “I’m good for about 11.” I can be the MVP for an 11 point game, but after that I lose my wind. I’ve got nothing left in the tank.
I’ve seen so many Christians who like me in basketball are “good for about 11.” They are fantastic workers. They get involved and seem to be great potential leaders. But then they flame out. They either lose focus of Christ and fall into sin or they just get too tired.
Remember Galatians 6:9, we can’t get tired of doing what’s right. We have to keep going because God promises us a harvest.
The Christian walk is not a day-long sprint, but a lifetime marathon. We don’t need 11-point MVPs. We need career champions. The lawn is littered with short game “winners.” Challenge yourself. Stay in shape spiritually and win the long games. We need you. Hopefully, I won’t be hyperventilating beside the court.