If sports aren’t important to you, skip down a paragraph or two.
Sonics won handily last night after begin blown off the court by San Antonio the game before. Is there anything smoother than a Ray Allen jump shot? I think he’s the best pure shooter in the game. When the Sonics play poorly, I get angry—why is that? I don’t know any of the players, and the game fades from memory quickly. I think age brings out the coach in Dads (teens would probably use a different word, like “nag”). I want to say to the Sonics—and I want them to write it on their doorposts, and to talk about it when they get up and when they walk along the road, you get the idea—basketball requires a prime directive (or two): get to the rim. In fact, I would say we should just change the name of the sport completely and call it “Get to the Rim-Ball.” Either drive to the basket or get it in the low post—that’s it! Do it EVERY time. When the defense comes out, GO AROUND THAT PLAYER and get to the rim. If the defense (finally) collapses in, THEN you’ve got easy three’s.
The second directive is “MOVE.” Move the ball (pass it quickly); move your body (“move without the ball”). No standing around.
And now, in the words of the supercilious Chris Van Dyke, on to “more important things.” Don’t you love the oblivious condescension? Can you imagine someone starting an anti-Seattle Arts Museum organization with that name? Yes, schools are important, and perhaps in a certain time frame the most important priority. But isn’t it hard to categorically say, no matter what, that “schools are really important, but sports (or arts) are not important by comparison?” Ask an artist or athlete that question. Was Chris Van Dyke a teacher by any chance, or just a frustrated middle school athlete (like me)?
And now on to really important things—see how easy it is to migrate to the Third Soil? I can get caught up in a welter of “concerns”: the drama of sports—here today, gone tomorrow—and in the priorities of social services, schools, etc.—also here today, gone tomorrow. There’s so much opinion out there but I think I can safely offer this: keeping your eyes on the eternal prize gives the best perspective. Someday we will all stand before Jesus and we will all give an account of our lives. What investments will matter to us on that day? Our education? Our house? A family vacation? A promotion? Not feeling well? A remodeling project? (Wait, that one’s actually part of Hell!)
These are the only things that will matter: eternal things. Your relationship with Jehovah and Jesus. Your faithfulness to Truth (read the Scriptures and meditate on them). Your relationships with your family and with Christians. These are what endure, forever and ever. I picture heaven being an ongoing outdoor festival in Bavaria with Jesus—amazing fellowship, amazing sights, and amazing beer. If we get a little bored, we move the party to Hawaii.
What’s your vision of heaven? Keep it firmly in your sights.