Basketball Hoop


Exodus 14:16  Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. NIV

One of the greatest accomplishments in my life actually seems so simple. We are talking about success.  We’re talking about accomplishment. We are talking about a routine day in life when everything changes because of a decision made.

I had a number of physical limitations because of an accident that I had been through and I was doing my best to get back in shape. I figured the college gym floor was probably empty one afternoon so I went by to see if I could shoot a few baskets. I checked out a basketball at the front desk and started shooting a few baskets to warm up on my shooting skills. After only about fifteen minutes, I really got tired. Sometimes the exhaustion hits quite unexpectantly. When you’re not in good physical shape… it doesn’t take very much exercising to wear out.

Keep in mind I had broken both of my legs below the knee. My right foot was severely injured and my left hip was broken out of socket. It had been nine months of trying to get back on my feet (just to stand) and another half a year to get to this point. So I was taking it slow.

I looked around and the gym was still empty. I was tired and I decided I would shoot one last shot at the hoop from the free-throw line. So I took that shot and it hit the rim of the basket and bounced off and I missed the ball is it passed by me. That basketball rolled all the way across the whole gym floor and back into the corner and down the hall a ways.

I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. I was already exhausted and I did that foolish thing. And I had to go get the basketball… thee was not an option. It was under my name at the front desk and I had to turn it back in. So I slowly walked all the way across the length of the gym and to the back of the stands to pick up the basketball. By the time I got back to the front of the gym I was extremely tired.

But the thought went through my head to shoot another basket. I thought that thought was absolutely nuts. There’s no way I’m going to shoot another basket and take another chance at having to go after the ball again. Somehow I should have recognized that thought must have come from God. I would certainly not have considered that thought myself.

But strangely… I stood there for a few moments contemplating my situation and slowly walked back over to that free-throw line. I stood there for a while dribbling the ball and looking up at the basket. I really dreaded missing that shot and having to go through the recovery process again. I was actually standing there daring myself to take the shot. It must have been a big event… this is twenty two years later and I’m writing about the decision. It wasn’t the shot that was so important… it was the decision.

In one of the most crucial points in my life, I made a decision to shoot that basket… to take that chance. It may sound like there was a fear that I didn’t want to shoot the basket. I had to get past that fear. That fear of not doing it right. That fear that my inability might show up. It took a long time looking up at that net and dreading the outcome… but I finally let go of the ball.

I finally took the shot and it felt terrible coming out of my hands. It was all wrong. Everything about it was wrong. I had shot the ball straight toward the basket instead of lobbing the ball up over the basket. I didn’t think anything that I had done would work. I knew it would hit the rim of the basket and roll across that floor like it did before.

But it didn’t. It stripped the net. It actually stripped the net and fell flat on the floor and bounced a few times and all I had to do was go pick it up. Yes… I took the shot… but I testify that God must have put it through the hoop.

I was so proud of myself because I took that chance. Sometimes I’ve got to take a chance in life even when I don’t have to. As strange as it may seem, even twenty two years later, that was a huge event… a huge moment in my life. And I was a success.

I wasn’t a success because I made the basket… I was a success because I took the shot. Allow God to part your Red Sea…



Comments are closed