“They Never Quit”

    Our granddaughter finished her eighth-grade basketball season this past week. As a team, these girls had only played together for two years, and very few, if any, had any previous experience with basketball. While they practiced between games, they usually had two games a week. We watched passionately, cheering for them and being enthusiastic, although the outcome of the game was seldom in doubt after the first half. This year, they only won two games, and one of those was by forfeit. In their last two games, their total points combined were eight.

   Some would say, “They just aren’t very good.” Their coach would vehemently disagree, as would each player! They realized for the past two years that regardless of the score, the chief rule is “never quit!” They learned other lessons as well, like sportsmanship, that losing isn’t the end of the world, and that “you miss every shot you never take” (borrowed from the hockey player, Wayne Gretzky). But most of all, they learned to NEVER QUIT!

   These girls also taught a few lessons during these two years! They taught the value of a TEAM instead of individual players. Every girl played in every game, allowing every girl to contribute something to the game. (Those of us who “rode the pine” understand the euphoria of hearing the coach say, “Your turn!”) Yes, there was a “starting five,” but the entire team contributed with both playing and cheering contributions! That “unexpected bucket” brought just as much excitement and encouragement as the expected ones! When the game ended, everyone felt they had contributed their best to the game!

   As Christians, we know life isn’t a “game.” Nonetheless, we must learn the lessons of “team,” “giving it our best” and “never quit.” Anything less is giving up! Further, we must understand that with God, we are winners regardless of what the world may think of us (Hebrews 13: 5 – 6; Romans 8:37). We can and must depend on one another (Jude 20; Ephesians 2: 19 – 22; Hebrews 10: 25; et al). No, some might not speak as well as others, pray as fervently as you think they should, or know the scriptures as you do, etc. But can they contribute to the worship with something of righteousness? Can they be part of the “team?” Can we encourage them as if they are on the “starting five?” YES – and if we don’t who quit – you or them? Let NONE of us quit!!! We’re on the Lord’s team, where against SIN, we can’t lose unless we quit!