Man, some games just hurt. Monday night was one of those games for me. My lifelong favorite Memphis Tigers lost in OT in the national championship. I am okay with the loss. Kansas is a great team. What I hated, was HOW they lost. The game was theirs. With 2 minutes left, they had a solid 9 point lead. All they had to do was protect the ball and make free throws, and they would very soon be cutting down the nets.
They did neither! They were sloppy with the ball and they missed 5 straight free throws! Just 1 of those would have won the game. But, they just did not get it done. What kills me is that free throws and ball protection are FUNDAMENTALS of the game. They are BASKETBALL 101. When you play in your first kids’ league these are some of the first things you do. Anyone in division one hoop should be able to hit free throws. It is basic basketball.
At times players get too caught up in the “flashy” and “exciting” part of the game. They want to pull off the ankle-breaking crossover, the 360 dunks and the triple pump shots. So anxious to make a poster worthy photo shot, they neglect the fundamentals of the game. And at times, like Monday night, we are reminded how fundamentals are what will win in the clutch!
Many times, we are like that in our faith. We want to look like spiritual all-stars so we read flashy books, use big religious buzz words and listen to cutting edge Christian music. All the while, we neglect the “fundamentals” like prayer and Bible study. And what I am finding as I grow older is that in this arena too, it is the fundamentals that pull us through when it is all on the line.
I pray we are a fundamental people. Spend time in the word and know it. Pray to our God and know Him. We never know when these tools when prove life saving.
I still love the Memphis Tigers, and always will. And SO much more will your God always love you. Now get out there and practice those free throws.