The Mighty Champions

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

About twelve years ago the head coach of the boy's basketball team in Happy asked if I would do him a favor. He and the girl's head coach were wanting to get the grade school kids excited about the basketball program, while at the same time building some fundamental skills. Would I be interested in helping with such a program? Like the dummy I am, I said yes.

A dozen years and a hundred or so kids later, we are still at it. Last night at half-time of the girl's basketball game, some 40 Kindergartners, first graders and second graders thundered onto the court for their debut - and the crowd went wild!

One of the things I love about Texas basketball is the support the fans give the kids. When the kids came out onto the court, the home crowd (and the good folks from the visiting team) roared their approval. For four solid minutes, the kids passed and chased their basketballs, dribbled and chased their basketballs, and ran into one another and chased their basketballs.

Now, from a basketball purist's point of view, the performance may have had a few rough spots. But from a fan's point of view, it was a thing of joy and of beauty. 40 kids, aged 5 to 8, with 40 basketballs, gave the first performance of their athletic careers. They had worked hard for a month to get ready for their debut and hundreds of parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts - and people who just love kids - stood and applauded. They did not clap and scream and whistle because they were in the presence of perfection. No, they clapped and screamed and whistled because they were in the presence of 40 young boys and girls who were attempting to be excellent.

And, despite dozens of loose basketballs and hundreds of miscues, these fans were treated to excellence. These kids were not excellent because they were perfect, rather, they were excellent because they had begun their journey towards perfection.

It's a lesson that we can all stand to learn - especially for those of us who would dare to attempt something as excellent as following Christ. We will stumble many times along the way, but we must remember that God is on our side. I don't pretend to know if there is clapping and cheering and whistling going on in Heaven when God's children begin their service to Him, but I know there is joy. 

Have you begun your journey towards perfection? You will have to be willing to stumble a few times (sometimes before big crowds) but God will be on your side and pulling for your success. Today would be a good day to start that journey! Do you have the courage... of our Mighty Champions?

Aim for perfection. II Corinthians 13:11, NIV