Wednesday, February 27, 2008

First String or the bench?

When I was in high school I played basketball all four years.
I was on first string and I really enjoyed being on the team. I enjoyed the rush of adrenaline as we got out on the floor and got ready to fight till the end.
A fight for victory.
And when the wins came--we had earned it.
The victory began every day after school when practice began.
My coaches name was Enid.
I went to a small Christian school and all of us girls were close-she was really one of the girls.
That is, until it came to getting us into shape to play the game.
I remember killing myself in practice. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say coach was killing us.
We had those horrible exercises called suicides. Just when we thought we were getting close to the end and our legs felt like rubber--she would say, AGAIN!
Sometimes I was tempted to say, NO! And sometimes I did.
But, I never didn't do what she asked. Why? Because she was coach and I wanted to be on the team. I wanted to be there to experience the game and the victory.

So the cycle was there. Practice, practice, practice---at time for getting in shape and a time to learn the rules and learn defense.
If we had gone into the game only knowing how to shoot and get to the goal- we would not have been ready when it came time to stop the other team from scoring.
We had to learn how to stop them. We had to work together as a team to stop them.
And to do that we had to all be in shape and ready to play.

All of us girls played together for 4 years.
By the time we hit our senior year we were a well oiled machine that took district.
And for our tiny school just about 6 years old--that was good.
Those are good memories.

So why share this today?
Because God is asking us to run suicides today. He tells us to put our toes on the line.
Then He yells-- GO!
Today instead of running to the first line and back--then to the next and back............
It looks a little more like this.
Run to the grocery and back, clean the bathrooms and back, help with the homework and back..........the suicides of everyday. The mundane exercises of every day.
We get frustrated as our weary muscles start to complain. We want to cry out ENOUGH!
And sometimes we look over at Him and give Him that look like--DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO ME?
And then He yells--AGAIN!

Then it is time for the game-which really begins as soon as practice ends.
We take all those things learned during our devotionals and prayer time
and we learn to use them.
We find out if we really are in the shape we think we are in.
Sometimes we loose our temper and whoosh-the other team scores.
We rally the team--remind ourselves of the fact that we need to run the plays just the way we learned them.
Sometimes, man on man is required.
God calls us out to specifically stand against the other team face to face.
And when we stop him from scoring--that great crowd of witnesses that is watching
stands to their feet and roars. I hear in my ears the stomping on the wooden bleachers they are so excited.
I remember getting so embarrassed when this happened.
But now when I know that I have made an "in your face" play with satan ......
I just look to the Coach and give Him that smile that says--
THANK YOU FOR NOT GIVING UP ON ME! Thank you for the training. For the tired muscles.

So........ today when your muscles start screaming--DON'T SIT DOWN!
Keep fighting the tendency that is in our nature to say--just let me catch my breath.
Because if you do that while in the game......... you will hear-- WHOOSH!
And then- the game will have to intensify to gain back the ground lost.
Let us spur one another on to love and good works.
The count down has begun. There is time for a few more goals to be made.
What will our team do?

12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4,..........

Let's fight the good fight!


Mimi's Toes said...

Oh my word girl, I need to send you a love offering....You ministered again to me on this one. What a great sermon! I really needed this cause I keep saying I am going to step up my exercise and give up too quickly...I am going to print this out and tape to my mirror by my exercise bike that is in my bedroom to remind me not to give up. Good for you playing basketball for 4 years. My daughter-in-law was a basketball star in college too and she went to a Christian school.

luvmy4sons said...

Amen dear sister. AMEN! Thank you for that today! I never plaeyd basketball ut I use to watch and know exactly of what you speak. And life is so lke that. soem days mroe than I feel it. Thank you. I will keep on keeping on because I don't want to hear the swoosh! Love it!

Praise and Coffee said...

Thanks for the awesome encouragement friend!


Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Excellent words, my friend.

Andrea said...

You are such a great writer, Sharon. You bless a lot of people with your posts.

ps: do you know what happened to Lisa? (Kentucky Woman) I went to read her blog and it said it was erased by the author...???

Halfmoon Girl said...

This post got me all pumped up! Perfect for me to hear as I love my soccer and have had to do those suicide sprints in practice before. Sure makes it easier to catch my check when we are actually playing a game though, just like you said! Thanks for these words. I was being grouchy and tired when I sat down to read it. Gave me the thump on the head I needed!

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

I felt like going out and running bleachers-- NOT... but I do remember doing this and the adrenaline rush... the acceptance that went along with this...

and the whole good works thing...

girl,,, you are good... this was an awesome post...

thank you...I'm pumped...

Denise said...

I am pumped, put me in coach.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, have you ever wanted to coach basketball, perhaps even youth? Just a thought.

eph2810 said...

Sharon - you always make me smile :)

It is so true. When we get tired and want to just catch our breath, Satan likes to take those opportunities to knock us off of our feet. Thank you for the reminder to always be in training - no matter how tired we are.
(((hugs))) and blessings.