Basketball is the sport our family is currently thinking about. Jaxson plays on his school team as well as a travel team that plays on Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, we have seen our share of basketball this winter and since I often look for a life-lesson (illustration) through every aspect of my day, I am reminded of two words used a lot in 5th grade basketball, “BACK UP!” This is not in reference to moving backwards or backing up a player. This refers to when we take a shot and miss (which happens often) and our offense rebounds the ball, you hear from the stands, “Back Up!” which indicates go right back to the hoop, shoot again. Since the rebound and subsequent following shot is often missed, you hear again from the crowd, “Back Up!”
At a recent game, I heard this often and shouted it myself as we cheered on our players. To give a brief commentary on the game, we were losing 22-12 towards the end of the game. Our boys played hard and never gave up. In the final few minutes, we shot, missed, rebounded and shot again time after time and closed the gap. With a couple timely shots and determination, our boys pulled out a huge victory, 25-23 in what was probably our most exciting game of the season. And even better, this helps our play-off positioning.
Now that I’ve given a little personal story let me give the life lesson God showed me in all of this. You see, we often hear motivational things like, “Go for it”, “Give it a shot”, “Go after your dream”. Heck, I’ve even said these myself over the years to encourage someone. But what often happens is if success isn’t experienced in the early stages of our pursuit, we often give up and give some sort of excuse such as, “I don’t have what it takes”, “I tried and failed”, “It must not be God’s will” . . . etc. To anyone who’s used those statements as a justification to quit, let me say to you today, “BACK UP!” Just like a father yells from the stands to an inexperienced 5th grade basketball team, I believe God, our heavenly father, is yelling from the throne, “BACK UP!”, “Try again”, “Don’t quit”
Even after being down 22-12, our 5th graders never looked at the scoreboard as the end of the game scenario. Don’t look at your current situation in life as the what the final score will read. You still have time on the clock to make a difference. Keep pushing forward, rebound and shoot again. The bible says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) Let’s never forget that.