The other day I decided to head down to the court and work on my 3-point game.
Needless to say my outside the 3-point arch game is in need of a resurrection. I had forgotten how far that orange ball could bounce after hitting that orange metal thing. 03…02…01…Whitlock shoots the jumper, off the rim, chase ball, repeat.
It was then that I first noticed him, out of the corner of my eye. A man walking toward my ball! Finally I wouldn’t have to chase the ball into the next county. Only then did I realized that he didn’t stop my ball from bouncing past him.
It was then that I really noticed him. I looked at him, actually his face. He seemed to be saying, “Sorry I didn’t get your ball.” I couldn’t believe it. He didn’t even seem to try to stop my ball from bouncing away. The ball had bounced within a couple of feet of him, just to his right. “Sowing and reaping, pal!” I thought.
It was then that I truly noticed him. He didn’t have a right arm. Funny how in the midst of our routine God brings people our way to teach us life lessons. My bouncing ball no longer had my attention. My heroic game-winning attempt with three seconds left in the game didn’t matter. The whole incident left me reeling. Chasing the ball after many missed shots pales in comparison to the daily obstacles this man must face.
There were 10 lepers. 10 outcasts. Jesus healed all 10 one day. Only one came back to thank Him…nine forgot, didn’t think about it, didn’t seem to care. (Luke 17.12-19)
Like you, there is so much I am thankful for: a wonderful family, the privilege of serving in ministry, terrific friends, a nice home, food, water. So I miss an occasional 3-pointer and have to chase down another youth pastor, speaker, convention site, band, registration, etc… the fact is that I have much to thank God for.
Not so long ago I was a leper in need of a merciful God. So allow me to encourage you to stop shooting, for a moment. Close your door, don’t answer the phone and thank our Father for His gift of life. We may get tired from chasing balls but the bottom line is that we can still shoot.