There’s something fascinating about watching young guys play basketball together. Whether they are average-Joes or somewhat decent players, there seems to be a certain “swag” that one is apparently required to summon over oneself before walking on to the court. I see it every time and it never fails to amuse me.
A little while back, as I was taking in the show, I couldn’t help but notice one guy and his sexy dribbling skills. I became fixated on him as he threw the ball effortlessly between his legs, round his back, and then back and forth between his hands — all while side-stepping and juking the invisible player in front of him. Anticipation grew within me as I waited for him to fire that ball into the net without a single greeting to the hoop.
The moment came and the ball was released from his hands with a confident flare. My head followed the trajectory of the shot as it headed towards the rim — then followed it as it entered a galaxy far beyond the rim. I snapped my head around to find anything to look at except that general area. I didn’t want the poor guy to know I had seen him shoot his ball into another time zone.
It wasn’t long after this event that I realized I have a lot more in common with this guy than I would care to admit. It dawned on me that we all have a lot more in common with this guy than we would all care to admit. It was as if God took the basketball the guy shot into space, sent it around the earth, honed it in on my face, and used it to slam me back to reality — the reality that I, too, have areas of all swag and no swish.
It’s never fun to have the less-than-appealing aspects of yourself come to the surface of your conscience, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Fortunately, after being slammed back to reality, I was also reminded that it’s never too late to work on your shot. It’s never too late to hit the court, drop the swag, and start working on what actually scores points.
That’s the beauty of grace — and sometimes grace comes in the form of a basketball to the face.