When I left the Community College for the University, I had no plans to play basketball. I didn't even realize that the women's team at the university I had chosen was the conference champions. One day I saw a sign posted on a bulletin board about an upcoming basketball informational meeting, so I thought why not go and see what it's all about? Well, what I found out was that it was more about giving information then getting it as I filled out a paper about my basketball career. A week later, I got a phone call from the coach, who continued to call me regularly once a week until I finally relented and started attending practice. I knew no one on the team by name. I did recognize some of them as the girls who bought drugs in the anatomy lab in the evenings. My coach was on his fifth woman, after 4 failed marriages (a notable accomplishment back in a era where divorce was still taboo) and obviously knew very little about managing women. I endured 3-a-days for a few weeks before spraining the arch of my foot. I soon realized that the injury was not a fast healing one so I sat down and evaluated my options. I came to the conclusion that:
- attending school in the inner city was not something I wanted to prolong
- I would have to cut back on my overloaded schedule if I wanted to play basketball and get good grades
- I was not enjoying playing basketball for a maniacal coach
- I really didn't fit in with the "culture" of the women's basketball team
- I wasn't having fun
So I made the decision to quit the team, pack out my schedule and graduate early. The coach hounded me for weeks waving a scholarship and promises of red shirting in front of my face but I would not change my mind. You see, back then (when there was no 30 second clock, no dunking, no women's size ball, and no WNBA) there was really no future in it beyond college and I couldn't see the use of it. It wasn't until a young dynamo from Old Dominion University (who happened to be playing the same time that I was and whose school was in our conference) really brought women's basketball to the forefront and put it on the map laying the foundation for professional basketball and sports announcing opportunities that might have made it worth my while.
I don't regret my decision though, not for one minute because I used wisdom in looking past the ball that was trying to block my view and it taught me the important lesson that in life, we need to be intentional about what we do. We need to be willing to lay aside the good for the better, even when we may be talented at the good and it's something we enjoy. We need to keep our goals for the future in view when making decisions about today.
I have a bright future. All the promises of God are mine to enjoy there for all eternity so I need to look past the worldly pleasures of today that are trying to sidetrack me to insure that I reach that future. In everything I do today, I must do it intentionally to make sure that it lines up with and propels me towards that bright future. With this mindset, it makes putting today in proper perspective and prioritizing so much easier.
Just this past week I watched the movie "Miss Congeniality" on t.v. At one point, undercover agent/pageant contestant Gracie Lou realizes that there's a bomb in the crown of the pageant winner. Her pageant assistant hears her murmuring and reminds her "the crown, it's all about the crown. BE the crown. You ARE the crown."
My goal is to obtain the crown of life. My future is the new heavens and new earth. My destiny is to live forever with Christ. To make sure that I reach that destiny I must focus on the prize-the crown of life. I must look past what is trying to grab my attention today, even though it may seem noble and good. If it does not assist me, propel me, and encourage me in the end goal, it has to be pushed aside. I must keep the crown in view at all times! There is no greater prize!