It’s Game Time

So prepare your minds for action…(1 Peter 1:13)

Yesterday I was officiating a few basketball games. These were fast games where I had to constantly be ready and on guard. When I’m officiating basketball there is not a moment in the game where my mind can wander, because when I do, I lose where I’m at in the game and am not aware of what to do next.
Sometimes I’m walking, other times I’m jogging and then at a moments notice, I can be sent into an all-out sprint. My goal is to get ahead of the play so I can be ready to make the call and do my part. If I’m sluggish, checked out or lazy, I’m not able to get myself in the most ideal position to officiate the game how its meant to be.
The Christian life is a lot like basketball, isn’t it? We must always be on our guard. We never know when the enemy might strike, sending us into an all-out sprint. If we don’t get ahead of the play, because of our apathy or disregard its easy for us to give in and find ourselves in a mess of sin.
After a few games yesterday my mind started to feel a bit mushy because my legs we wearing out. The good news is though, is that earlier in the season my legs would have worn out much quicker, but I’ve conditioned myself well, through lots of practice and experience.
Paul tells us to “prepare our minds for action.” How do we do this as Christians? What kind of reps should we be taking to prepare us for what life will throw at us? First, we must go before the Lord Jesus every day, training our hands for war by investing our hearts, souls, and minds into His word. The more we read it, study it, memorize and meditate on it the more ready will become when life sends us into an all-out sprint.
I have been told by many officials, “Heather, sometimes you hustle too much. Work through the court, work your area and trust the system.” Officiating basketball means that I trust the other ones who are working with me. We all work together playing our part. Which means that sometimes, in fact, most of the time, I’m not even watching the ball. I’m watching an area. When I’m not doing my part, but am “ball watching,” I’ll have a tendency to call plays that are not in my primary area on the court.
Sometimes God is taking care of things in our lives, but we keep inserting ourselves into His area because we want to be in control. Sometimes the area He wants us to settle into is rest, but we keep getting up to sprint when really, the sprinting has nothing to do with the Kingdom, but everything to do with our need to be in control.
The second way to train our minds for action is to be people of prayer who listen as they pray. There are many times on the court where one of my partners will communicate something to me and if I’m not listening, I’ll place myself in the wrong position, which is bad news for all of us. God is trying to speak into our lives. Are we listening? Are we attentive to His voice? As we grow, so should our ability to listen well and submit ourselves to God’s direction.
The next time you step out into the court of life, ask yourself, “What’s my area and what area do I need to start trusting God with?” Chances are if you’re like me, you’re running too far ahead at times, or maybe are trying to be in control of every area when you need to let God do His thing and follow along with His direction.
Lord, I trust you. On the courts of life sometimes I like to be in control, but I want you and more of you to run the show. Forgive me for how foolish I’ve been. I want more of you in my life. I submit today to you, in Jesus name, Amen.

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