In times of uncertainty, if there’s one thing I’ve heard people say more than anything else, it’s this: I wish someone would tell me what to do–I need a game plan. If only it were that easy. But what if there was an analogy, a different way of looking at life that brought some perspective or at least helped explain things in a meaningful way?
A powerful analogy
When I woke this morning, I remembered I’d had a dream, which for me, is not out of the ordinary. However, last night’s dream was different.
I dreamt the same dream twice. Like an instant replay in a game. After giving it some thought, I realized the replay was significant. According to Biblical interpretation, when something is mentioned twice in Scripture, it’s established.
And the dream was repeated to Pharoah twice because God establishes the thing, and God will shortly bring it to pass” (Gen. 41:32).
The dream consisted only of a basketball game–that’s it. However, when the game was over, I audibly heard this statement:
Life is like a basketball game.
9 reasons life is like a basketball game:
- It is a high-scoring game, and there’s much at stake
- The ball is the center of attention
- The game requires courage, stamina, endurance, and the longer the play, the quicker time disappears on the clock
- The structure of the game remains the same; its foundation is based on timeless principles and strategies
- The success of the overall team depends on each player’s contribution
- The effectiveness of each player is determined by the amount of effort they invest
- Each player must be on the lookout; aware of his opponent’s moves
- There are numerous ways to score a goal. However, the approach can (and will) change in an instant, without warning
- Distractions surround each player, and ability to maintain focus is critical
It is not my intent to trivialize the complexities of life by comparing it to a game. But, I’ve come to realize learning is often a byproduct of the mundane. And sometimes it’s as simple as paying attention.
After giving this dream some thought, I wondered about life application principles in the analogy of seeing life as though it were a basketball game.
- As with a basketball game, the speed of life increases with each passing year as time continues to represent a smaller percentage of life. The Bible teaches we are to “redeem” time, which means, “to rescue or recover from waste.” In other words, manage time wisely. “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-16).
- We must remain dependent upon the Coach. We need Jesus. “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5).
- We are part of a team, and we need each other. God calls it the body of Christ for a reason. “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Rom. 12:5).
- The interaction between players and their mastery of the opponent affects the outcome of each play
- Although opposition’s craftiness may not determine the final score in the “game,” his tactics influence the way the team plays
- The Coach calls the shots. Our dedication and commitment belongs to the advancement of God’s Kingdom
- With reliance upon the Coach; each player is wholly dependent upon His instructions; it’s not a one-time event, but a play-by-play approach
The game of basketball is exciting. Filled with bursts of speed, sudden stops, false starts, and sometimes surprise endings. Playing well requires much skill and great determination.
As followers of Christ, we can live with a confident assurance. After all, we know the final outcome–we win! “And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15).
However, until then, we each play a part in the last days in which we are living. It’s time to seek God with all your heart and ask what His game-plan is for your life.
Jesus said, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together” (Jn. 4:35-36).
The harvest is ready, laborers are needed, and the rewards are eternal.
Can you think of additional ways the analogy of ‘life being like a basketball game’ can be applied? What about to your life?