February Newspaper:



Bball and getting ready for March Madness

But, We're the Ones Getting the Workout...

It was the funniest thing someone said in passing but it made a lot of sense. I was playing basketball one day and a young man walked up so I passed him the ball. He was hitting 3-pointer after 3-pointer so I struck up a conversation after repeatedly saying, "Good shot." He explained that no, in answer to my question, he wasn't in the draft or currently playing for the University of Virginia but he did teach girls basketball. Yep, I thought. That explained it. 

For the next hour it was cool having someone help me work on my three-pointers (or lack there of). "Jump higher" he'd say. "You mean I have to jump," I would say laughingly as I quickly ran to grab the ball and catch my breath. "Whew" I thought, this is a workout! 

After some time had passed, I realized I was getting quite a workout and stopped to wipe my forehead and noticed the guy I was sharing the ball with was sweating, too. I regretted not bringing my water bottle as the morning heat was brutal. I knew it was about 86-degrees out but the sun was blazing down on us at this point. And, that's when I realized what was wrong.

We were standing on the fully exposed sunny side of the court. I turned to look on the other side of the court and there were about 4 or 5 older men just standing around talking. So, I said, in a huff, "Yeah, I see the problem. We're in the heat," to which my new friend responded, "But, we're the ones getting the workout." I laughed as I realized he was right. The men standing around in the cool of the shade weren't even shooting any baskets.  

After the young man left I stayed for another 30-minutes or so before the heat became too intense and then I left to hydrate. As I stopped at the water cooler and guzzled down what felt like a gallon of water, what that young man said really struck me. 

As Christians, God sometimes puts us on the front line or what's also referred to as "the line of fire". There are all kinds of tests and trials we go through but it's there that we receive anointing, pass our tests and gain strength. It's also there that we see our confidence build the most as we see God work on our behalves. We learn to trust in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit more from those fiery attacks than at other times when things are quiet (and we're just standing around). Yep, those fiery trials when the heat is on are part of serving God.

In this new season, God doesn't want us backing down or walking away (which happens in the church all the time). God might say, "I want you to move faster" and instead of obeying, we acknowledge what He's said but we don't do anything about it. Or worse, we ignore God entirely to go back to what we thought was so important. I'm reminded of the verse, "Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts," Hebrews 3:15. But, I'm also reminded of the verse, "They have no changes." That verse is about those that God calls who don't get off the bench and work.