I watched one of the best games of my entire life a few weeks ago at Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro. The class 1A state championship here in Tennessee. Union City High School (Tornados) were undefeated with 36 wins. Since literally the day after we moved here, I had seen them play about five times at the end of the season. From what I could gather, they were a power-house ball team. I was told that they even beat opponents from other states that were much bigger then them. In fact they usually beat their opponents pretty badly. Of the five previous games that I had seen they scored over 100 points in three of the games, just INCREDIBLE!!!! but this last game was different… Union City usually started scoring quick, and gained momentum. This game was different though. They were not hitting many shots, like they usually did, and were just flat getting beat on defense. The tornados were getting out rebounded by Mannassas, not to mention the bad officiating that never seemed to go our way. At the half we were down by 17 points, with our star player M J Brown only putting 2 points on the board, 47-30 was the deficit.
The second half was a little different. I told Brad Boucher, the guy sitting next to me, that if we came back and won it would be an absolute miracle. Mr. Basketball, M. J. Brown stepped up to lead his team. With about 4 minutes left in the game he hit a 3 pointer and we took the lead. It was one of the greatest comebacks that I have ever seen. M. J. finished with 29 points (27 in 2nd half) and won all the awards, including the prestigious Mr. Basketball, for the 2nd year in a row, MVP, and many more. The amazing part of this game was that Union City never once looked worried, rushed or stressed, even when they were down by over 20 points. They stayed calm and stuck to their game plan. It payed off with them winning 84-82. It really didn’t matter how they started the game as much as it mattered how they finished.
The game of life is like this basketball game. We all go through times when we fill like we are behind, like we are being out-played by our opponent (Satan). We may feel that we are being disciplined, and it may even be painful. But the most important thing is that we trust the coach (Jesus) and his game plan for us (the Bible). He knows that if we trust Him and persevere that, in the end, we will be winners. I’m reminded of a verse of scripture: Hebrews 12:1b- …let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with Perseverance the race marked out for us.
Is there something in your life that you need to throw out today? What is keeping you from playing the game like you should? Are you following the coaches orders?
Hebrews 12:11 says: No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Do you want righteousness and peace?
“In the game of life what matters most is not how you start, its how you finish!!!!“