Fouling Out

I played basketball in high school. Well maybe I should clarify: I played my freshman year at a private school that barely had enough girls to compile a team. I had a great outside shot, as long as no one was guarding me and I had a good amount of time to get set up. What I lacked in skill I made up for in aggressiveness. Even though I didn’t start or play very much, I typically fouled out of most every game (for those of you non-basketball players, to “foul-out” essentially means that you have violated the rules of civilized sports one too many times and have to go sit on the bench in shame). I don’t know if you have ever noticed this, but girl basketball can look more like wrestling than basketball. As a general rule, a female’s competitive nature takes another female trying to steal the ball from her as a personal assault. I would latch on to that ball with every bit of strength and stubbornness I could exert. If I needed to take the chick to the ground, so be it. And I only had 5 chances to do this before they made me sit out the rest of the game. Totally unfair!

I hate to admit that this Sunday, as I was “meditating” during Communion time at church, my short-lived basketball career came to mind. Here’s why: I started to tell God that I was turning over certain people in my life to His care. That I was going to stop trying to fix, manage and control them and just let Him take care of them. That struck me as sort of funny when I realized that the fact that I think that I can “turn over” something that isn’t really mine is absurd. He already has them. He’s already in charge of them. This is when the image of me wrestling players to the ground for the basketball entered my mind. What I need to do is to give up trying to wrestle God for “possession of the ball”, because the stats say I am fixin’ to foul out. There are certain people that He has in His possession, and I am violently, stubbornly, determinately, trying to pry them from God’s hands. Sunday it was people. Today, it’s situations. I am frantic because there are too many things blocking my perfect outside shot and I am resorting to scrapping and clawing for the ball. I have to keep in mind that the “possession arrow”, the one that indicates which team gets the ball next, is always pointing in God’s direction. In the end, in spite of all my wild wrestling, I will end up with another foul and God will still end up with possession. It would be wiser to politely, in accordance with civilized, surrendered, cooperative behavior, hand God the ball.

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