Defense! Defense! Defense! Have you ever been to a basketball game? I’m sure as you read those words, foot stomps echoed in your memory because everyone at one point of their lives have heard that song. It is the most frequently sung chant by both teams, in any sport really. Teams try to defend their net, or territory and make sure their players don’t let the other team to score.
Sports have an incredible amount of lessons that they can teach people of all ages. It teaches how to work with other people. It teaches how to deal with disappointment and heart ache. It teaches parents that they have to let their children experience loss and frustrations. It teaches parents and athletes how to make sacrifices, because sport takes a lot of time and energy and if you have more than one very involved athlete in a family, it also teaches time management. The list of what sports teaches is really an entirely different lesson, but what I am trying to get at is that sport is a great tool for many life lessons.
The lesson that I wanted to highlight today is that of defense. I really feel that we have to think of spirituality in the form of defense. I really think that God is constantly on the defense for us. He has set up our world so that we have our own free will to do what we want to choose to do with our lives. Many times, however, we are given choices. Choices to do the right thing, or the temptation to do the wrong thing, almost like evil spirits and angelic spirits.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you are taking the wrong path in an area of your life, all of a sudden something or someone shows up to interfere with what you were about to do, or say? That would be God acting defensively for us. Trying to stop us. I know myself, there were many times that I didn’t let these interferences stop me and still made a bad play in my life. Looking back it is easy to see the hand of God trying to intervene, and then I realize my error.
God is never setting us up to fail, and is always on our defense, whether we make the correct shot and defend our net, it is up to us to make the right play. Many times we might trip and fall, or shoot and miss, but that doesn’t mean that the game is over. Pull yourself together, and refocus your energy towards your goal and God will once again help you in the defensive side of the game, making sure that you don’t let that bad play happen again.
The Divine Creator is with us every step of our journey and our game plan is already drawn out for us. He wants us to win! I’m studying Deuteronomy this month, and in Deuteronomy 20:4, it tells us, “For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’” Each play can go down the way God is trying to coach us towards, or we can use our own player’s judgment and try to go against the coach’s advice. Either way, we learn from our choice and move onto the next game of life. After you go against the coach long enough, you will eventually learn that his defensive strategy is second to none, and you will win every game following his strategies.
I’m not a basketball expert—I honestly, have no idea about the game—but I do know that my son’s coach is very vocal from the sidelines. Not only is his coach vocal, but his teammates on the bench are always encouraging, and chanting, “DEFENSE! DEFENSE!” God is very vocal too, and is the best defensive coach you will ever find. It just means you have to train yourself to listen to his whispers, learn from your mistakes, and try to follow his lead the next time around.
In the sporting world, there are athletes that coaches refer to as, “uncoachable”. Are you one of those people? Are you going to be stubborn and think your way is the best way to play the game? Are you uncoachable? Or are you going to let the Great Divine lead you to a sweet victory in this game called life or are you going to try and coach yourself? Many people try, but eventually they learn the power of the Great Divine!