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Monday, November 23, 2009

The Losing Streak is Broken!

If you would have asked my daughter about their junior high basketball team for that past two years, you would have heard the following:  "We've lost every game for two years." 

I can't remember how many games it was - 50 something, I believe.  But, guess what?  Last Thursday night, during the first basketball game of the new season, the junior high girls team won!  It was an exciting night for the girls and for all of the fans, too.

Winning isn't everything, of course, but losing isn't either.  No one wants to lose all of the time.  On the other hand, it's not good to win all of the time, either (shhhhh, don't tell any coaches I said that!).  Being both a good winner and a good loser shows character.  It helps learn to be gracious winners and losers.

The junior high girls kept a good attitude all during their losing streak.  Instead of sulking, giving up, and having an attitude of being defeated, they would go out onto the court expecting to do their best and striving to win each game.  This year with a new coach, they've learned more and prepared more and that hard work has paid off.

Paul talked about striving towards goals and winning a prize.  I referred to his reference to running in this post.  In the scripture below, Paul states that he is pressing on toward the goal.  Of course his goal isn't the kind of goal as the basketball team looked toward.  His goal was heaven...."heavenward in Christ Jesus".

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

As Christians, our goal should also be heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Jesus is the only way in which we can become a child of God and obtain the goal of heaven.  But, we should also look to Paul's example in the verse above.  He didn't give up or get complacent in living the Christian life.  He did not become arrogant and believe he had done all he could do for God.  No, he didn't look back on the past (ex. past mistakes maybe), he kept his eyes focused on what was ahead of him, and he continued to press on toward the goal.

Basketball focuses on offense and defense.  Maybe as Christians we should do the same.  We're playing defense against Satan.  And our offensive play is taking us toward the goal of heaven.  Our Christian brothers and sisters are our team mates.  God is the "Head Coach".  Jesus is the "Owner" (we're a pro team) - He bought us with his blood. The Holy Spirit is the "Assistant Coach".

Let's Go Team!

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