Felt pretty cool the other day. Cool does not happen very often once you are over fifty years of age. Wanna know why I felt cool? OK, I'll tell you.
The sixth grade boys let me in the pickup basketball game at recess. Now the problem with cool here is that I might have become very uncool. "Why?" you ask. Well, first of all, I am slow. Second, I cannot shoot anymore, and never could dunk. Third, as I have mentioned before, there is no jump left in these legs.
Good news through - I can still pass. I can make the "no-look-behind-the-back" pass. Yes I can, if I can get the ball entirely around my waist. Or a cute way to say it would be, "Get the ball around the entire 'tire'." Still one problem though - someone has to be able to catch the "no-look-behind-the-back" in order for it to be cool.
So here's the way it played out. I was dribbling with the right hand left of the key. Martice was three feet from the hole and had shaken free of the man guarding him. The ball went "around the tire" and into the air. Martice made eye contact and shot his hands out and over his head. The ball came to rest in Martice's soft hands, and he made the catch! He proceeded to soar high from the ground and make a thunderous, 360-degree, tomahawk slam-dunk (OK, I made up that part)! No, he actually scored from the left side on a two-foot layup.
The key to it all? Soft hands. Martice had to be able to catch that pass. As always, Martice's catch got me to thinkin'.
I remembered Judges 6. "Really, what's in that chapter?" you ask. Well, it's a good one to read; it's all about Gideon. It seems God was trying to get the nation of Israel's attention, but no one was listening. They were not "catching the nice lob pass" God was throwing to them. He wanted them to tear down their idols and worship Him alone.
No one was listening, that is, until God talked to Gideon. God was using the Midianites to call Israel back into a close friendship with Him. When Gideon listened, and listened closely, and then obeyed, God used him to miraculously defeat Midian's army and bring Israel back to Him.
So here's the question for us today. Are you and I "catching" the things God is saying to us? He is always talking to us through His Word, by His Holy Spirit, through His people (like teachers, pastors, parents and grandparents) and through things that happen in our lives. Hard hands or a lack of attention cause a very special pass to bounce out of bounds. God is speaking; are we listening?
Let's ask Him to help us! Lord, make our hearts soft and open to all You want to say to us today. We're listening! In Jesus' name, Amen.
Proud of you,