Bears and Basketballs

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“Want to go shoot some hoops today?”

Hubs didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he asked me this question. Didn’t he know he was asking “The Bear” to shoot hoops with him? Ha.

I played basketball all through out junior high. And let me tell you, I was unlike any player on the team. No, I didn’t get the most points. No, I couldn’t dribble up and down the court. But, I was nicknamed “The Bear” by my coach.

Before you go thinking I was the most aggressive one on the team, let me assure you I was not. I was the exact opposite. My coach called me “The Bear” as an attempt to make me more aggressive. But I continued to be friendly to everyone, including the opponents. I was more of a teddy bear giving hugs than a grizzly bear.

Nonetheless, I agreed to shoot hoops with my hubs that day at the court outside a local middle school.

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We started out just shooting around. I sank some baskets and shocked him quite a bit that I even knew how to shoot. “You’re a lot better than I thought you’d be.”

Then we moved to a game of HORSE, and I continued to swish.  That led to a game of 21. Of course as we went along he threw in “rules” that he had “forgotten to tell me at the start.”

I put up some good defense, but he kept scoring on me. When I did finally get the ball, I couldn’t make a shot worth anything. Hubs would try to block me or play defense on me. Immediately got flustered and thrown off, quickly forgetting my form. I air balled more than I even hit the rim. I would begin dribbling into the lane, but as soon as hubs stepped in to defend, I froze and couldn’t move. Frustration.

“Keep going in strong, babe!”

“Remember your form!”

And then it sank in. I was letting outside factors dictate and distract my game, rather than playing confidently like I knew how to. I knew how to shoot, dribble, and rebound. But, focusing on the defender made me forget all of that and look disoriented on the court.

So it is in life. We may know the truth, but our circumstances can cloud our view. Truth can get foggy when fear, trials, and doubts invade. And then, we walk disoriented through life. We become bad soil for the seed. “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19).

But when we make a conscious effort to ask God to help us remember the truth, we are able to walk more confidently through life, no matter what circumstance may come our way. We are good soil for the seed. “Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown” (Mark 4:20).

Perspective shift.

So I took a deep breath, and began to dribble the ball once more. I pushed through the defender. I looked up at the goal, lifted the ball up, bent, and released.

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Swish.

I beat hubs that day.

(But I still think he let me win).

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