I played basketball this week after a long time.
I guess the last game was years ago.
Days prior to the game I was thinking about taking that shot. I have watched a lot of videos and the images are burned in my mind. I have seen how Stephen Curry swishes his arms as he takes the shot. I have seen Kobe Bryant’s moves and even Michael Jordan’s moves. I know those things in my head and I imagined myself to move that way when the right moment comes. I ran enough laps to have the leg strength and the jumping power to do it. I can do it!
Then come game time, I found myself floundering, I just ran. That is all that I ever did in court. Ran and followed my opponents like a mad dog. No lay ups. The two shots I took were air balls. The driving layup I did was blocked by an opponent. The Shaq-level block I was planning didn’t even reach the ball. No, I never even bumped into my opponent into a foul.
With all those things running in my mind prior to the game, I realized I never had any muscle power or smarts to do it. I succumbed to a lot of tendencies with the ball that includes running away from the ball. I ended up most of the game shouting cheers to my team mates and pushing them on defense.
I knew in myself that I was not made to be a ball player or at least I lacked the discipline and practice to be one.
The same could be true with our spiritual lives.
We are all sinners without even salt in our hands to be of any worth yet Christ died for all of us. It is easy to register that in our heads. It is equally easy to remember that Christ died out of love for us that because of this love, we ought to love one another. This is basic Christian teaching. The theology is simple, easy to grasp although somewhat overwhelming to ponder on.
In essence the idea is always there.
Yet most often, we don’t have the muscle power to show it. In essence the idea is there but time and time again we never seemed to be the people who have been redeemed by Christ. We are often temperamental, uncaring and too stuck up human beings. Sometimes it seems that it is impossible to believe that we are Christians because we fail to show the Christ that we say we believed. It is like watching basketball videos and memorizing all the techniques of the players but not really bothering to practice or apply them in court. Our attitude, our temperaments and our characters should be honed if we are to say that we are Christ’s. The love that we claim to have received should also be the love that we show to others.
The bottom line is the idea is always there, the feeling is always there but the spiritual muscle is never practiced. Get to know Christ and live the life and character that He calls you to be. Then we become Christian.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” – John 14:15