I promise myself each year that I will not watch the NBA playoffs. Making such a promise sets me up to be a promise breaker - I love basketball. I still recall going out and playing ball on the dirt driveway behind the the house, with the 9 foot 6 inch goal that my Dad and I installed on the Garage. The goal had originally been 10 feet but over time we put in more dirt on the driveway and the rim was bent downward from my attempted dunks and the last time I measured the height it was 9'6". This explains why my jump shot was always short on a regulation goal.
The size and speed of today's players is mind boggling. I live near Houston, so I have become a rather unfaithful fan of the Rockets. I love them and hate them all during the same game. When I see the massive players like Yao Ming and the lightning fast players like Wafer and Brooks I am stunned by what amazing athletes they are. Truly amazing.
I had a recurring dream when I was just kid. In the dream, I was playing in a big game and had the final shot and got fouled. There I stood on the free throw line with the game in the balance, sweating bullets and preparing to shoot my free throws. At this history making moment, I would wake up - the dream was never finished.
In some ways, life is like a basketball game. We go out and play hard every day and sometimes we face a strategic game changing moment - we stand on the line and the ball is placed in our hands. The pressure is on -- will we come through in the clutch or will we choke under the pressure? The difference is that life is not a dream - it's real and the challenges we face are real.
I have had these moments and so have you. While these challenging times push us to the limit, I am so thankful to be able to experience them. There is nothing quite like the experience of being so alive and engaged. Life is an adventure. Questions are not easy to answer, battles are not easy to win, people are not easy to love --- but when all is said and done we never feel more alive, human, and open to change and grow that when we face these life challenging moments.
Will we always sink the winning basket? No way. But being engaged in the game of life, working with people, tackling problems, and doing our very best -- this makes life exciting, meaningful, and important.
The balls in your court. Take the challenge - do your best - say a prayer - life is good!
Just thinking, Steve