Sunday, June 28, 2009

Heaven Is A Playground (Part II)

As as young man, and more importantly, a Christian, I want the odds stacked against me 11 out of ten times here in the physical world. In the fourth quarter of this game called life, I want all the pressure on me. Even if my running mate is on the bench that last crucial stretch of the game, mired in foul trouble.

While we're at it, put a couple of my team's youngest and most inexperienced players on the court alongside me. Let the more caustic opposing fans talk about my now-infamous stay in Colorado almost a full five years ago. I can see their signs saying I am a whining baby that could never win without the greatest center of my generation.

They told my virtual mentor in this sport the world has dubbed "basketball" that he couldn't fly anymore in 1998. He was in my same position with different shoes on his feet: An All-Star and All-NBA selection starting in the NBA Finals at shooting guard, but as I have on my signature Nike Zoom Kobe IV's, he wore his now-legendary "Last Shot" Nike Air Jordan XIV's.

But this isn't about him.

It's about Him working through me, and more importantly, my teammate: a point guard in the twilight of his career whose airborne shots look like solar eclipses to the detached retinas of our formidable opponents.

I want the fans of the other team to berate me after I misfire an airball in overtime, just like I did against that ice cold team with the stellar floor leader and the postman that even worked on Sundays, more than a decade ago.

But I'm wiser and stronger now. I think about my father, who was a member of championship teams before I was even born. He didn't win those games by himself. He couldn't, especially considering he spent most of his time on the bench.

I don't have to, either.

I look to my left and make the biggest assist of the season and one of the biggest of my future Hall of Fame career to the man "they" said was too slow to run with our opponents swift, young guards. His left arm extends and he flicks his left rest so the ball rotates like God just fired the whole world out of his left hand.

Swish.

It's his second three and world be the deciding shot of that game, and ultimately, the series. A trifecta unlke any other, and believe you me, I've seen some crazy shots in my fairly short time on this green and blue planet.

In my own game of life, metaphors and allusions aside, let my father God be Hall of Fame-bound coach Phil Jackson, and my teammate four-time NBA Champion Derek Fisher, be my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My father has promised us and made it to the Promised Land time and time again. He is undefeated when chances at winning the greatest trophy of them all are on the line.And Jesus, you ask?He never misses in the clutch and saved me from a dark, heatbreaking defeat... No matter how selfish and childish I have been acting.

Heaven is a playground.

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