The Rules of Basketball
By Clint Percefull - Children's Minister
I have had the privilege of coaching my little girl’s upward basketball team this year. She has never played any sport in her entire 5 years of existence, but when the call came asking if I would coach, I decided to give it a shot. We went to the evaluations and she was so excited to play! A few weeks went by, and finally her “costume”, aka uniform, came in and she loved wearing it around the house. The first practice finally came around and we got to meet the rest of the team. As we started to practice it became very clear that most of these kids had never played the game of basketball. Some were really good at it, but most were starting at square one.
The next few weeks went on and we practiced and had our first games. One day at practice, I noticed something about myself and my coaching. Almost everything I said or tried to teach was focused on the things they are not supposed to do, things that are against the rules of basketball. I found myself constantly saying things like, “You can’t move without dribbling” or “You can’t step outside of these lines,” etc. While these are true statements about the rules of the game, they are not however what makes one great at the game.
It is easy for us as Christians to focus on the things we should not be doing. We should not steal, kill, lie, or covet. These are true commandments we are told to live by, yet it is not what makes us Christlike. Our bibles are full of commandments, statements, and examples of people doing things in Jesus’ name. Helping others, praying for others, simply talking with our neighbors are all things we can do to help spread the gospel.
When I think about all the great players to ever play the game of basketball, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Jerry West, I remember the things they did, they plays they made. Obviously, they followed the rules of basketball and did not step out of bounds or did not move without dribbling. However, that is not what made them legends, it was their actions on the court. Let us be legends in our lives and be active, moving, and doing what God has called us to do, sharing his love to others.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.