Snapshot of Basketball

My son is tall. When he was in Junior High and High School he enjoyed basketball (still does). I became obsessed with getting him a basketball hoop for Christmas. I so badly wanted him to be able to play any time he wanted to…to be the house his friends could gather to play. This was my best idea ever.

    There was one hitch….our driveway was about 50 feet long at about a 45 degree incline. At the top, in front of the garage door was a semi-level area about 15’ square…three sides of which dropped off considerably. Unless you made every shot and rebound perfectly there was a good chance you were going to be running …a lot. If the ball made it down the driveway or over the edge you had the incline of the street to deal with. If you weren’t fast enough you could end up a quarter mile away dodging traffic on Foothill Boulevard.

     Yes, these were issues to consider but why let such trivialities get in the way of your dreams? Or my dreams. Budd and I had more than one ‘discussion’ about my basketball dreams for Matt. He kept harping on the topography and I was committed to the joy I foresaw.

    I prevailed. We got the hoop. Budd and his brother installed it. I was ecstatic. It was perfect. Ten minutes later, after running up and down the driveway, fetching the ball from over the wall, arguing about who had to retrieve the rapidly departing basketball…I had my first glimpse of a question: was this a good idea?

Continuing on…

Now you may look at this snapshot and think “Big duh! That’s not going to work.” Here’s the thing: I wanted this so badly for my son that I couldn’t bear to question the wisdom of my plan. I wanted the picture in my head to be our reality so I pushed forward despite wisdom offered to the contrary. I wanted what I wanted…period. Probably more than Matt did. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” It didn’t. Granted we had some fun playing there but the seeds of my dream never grew as I pictured it. Clearly, our driveway was not basketball material.

   I would like to say that that is the only circumstance where I have pushed forward with what I wanted despite collective opinion and information to the contrary. Whether relationships, purchases, plans or words, I have so many examples of a stubborn heart wanting what it wants when it wants it. At my current maturity (age) I know that I am better with seeking wisdom and practicing patience…in part due to the fact that I am older and slower…but I’ve hopefully learned from the debacles in my past.

    Whatever age or stage you find yourself today I encourage you and me both to pause, exhale and consider options. Whether it be a financial matter that you want to bulldoze forward with despite consequences or it’s a relationship that you’re going to pursue or discard no matter what, take time to consider. Whether it’s something you simply must have without question or its words that you want to spew without regard to their power, I urge us to pause. Wait. Consider. Even pray.

    Recently I was hurt by someone’s response to me. I had so many words – pointed, descriptive, directed, winning words. These words burned in my belly and simply HAD to be expressed. But I waited (thank you God, old age and experience). I turned the hurt over in my heart, I played with the words in mind and I waited. Ultimately I was able to have a conversation that did not blow up a friendship or cause me regret. I expressed myself with honesty and grace (God’s doing of course). I am so grateful for the pause.

    May the wisdom of the basketball hoop guide you today. Is there something you want so badly that you refuse to look at it from all sides? Is there something that you want at all cost? Trust me, the cost is probably more than you anticipate. You may even need to listen to wisdom from another person…even if it’s your spouse.

Helpful Reading:

James 1:5     If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

Proverbs 3:13-14    Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. 14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.

James 3:17     But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

Colossians 2:2-3     I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

1 Corinthians 1:25     This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

Proverbs 4:7     Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

Proverbs 8:11     For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.

Ecclesiastes 2:13      I thought, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness.

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