Wrestling with the Gospel of Luke (Part 2)

13 Aug

Thank you for clicking on my blog. 2 reasons you should keep reading: 1) I am personally committed to writing more consistently and your gracious feedback on this article in the form of a comment would be appreciated, and 2) Perhaps you would like to wrestle with the Gospel of Luke, too.

During my collegiate years (which is quickly becoming 15 years ago), I played on several intramural basketball teams. Among many games (and mostly positive experiences), one stands out from the rest. Both teams played well and traded off taking the lead throughout the entire game. Finally, with under 10 seconds remaining, my team had pulled ahead by one point and we had the ball. To end the game, all we needed to do was throw the ball inbounds and dribble out the clock. While in college, I had not quite learned humility like I have since, so I expressed more of a cocky attitude (especially when it came to athletics). While scanning the court in order to throw the ball inbounds, I deduced two choices. I could either throw the ball to the teammate standing right in front of me who would dribble out the clock and commence our victory celebration, or I could throw the ball to my teammate closer to the basket who would heave up one more shot and stick it to our opposition. Well, my well-thought out plan to run up the score would have worked with precision if the best player on the other team had not intercepted my pass. As he began dribbling across the court toward his basket, I began mentally reassuring myself: “Okay…that was not the best decision you have ever made, but no big deal. There is no way this guy has enough time to get off a potential game-winning shot, and even if he did, there is no way he will make it.”

I can still hear the clock ticking. 4, 3, 2…1… He covered more ground with the ball than I anticipated. As he jumped for the shot attempt, I jumped too with my arm extended toward the ball and my fingers centimeters from a blocked shot. (Indulge me, okay. Surely, someone photographed the moment and cashed in big time with a hot-selling poster.) As the ball floated in the air, time stood still. After landing, I stood still too, because the closer the ball traveled to the basketball the more it looked like it was going in. Finally, it happened, and 15 years later the entire experience looms in the back of my mind. (Can’t you tell I’m over it?) As disappointed teammates, laughing fans, and jubilant opponents left the gym that night, I remained…stunned, humbled…washing my nets. Those fishermen probably felt the same…only worse. Instead of the ego stroking peer adulation, their livelihood, financial sustainability, and dinner for the kids was literally…on the line (Okay, they fished with nets, but I could not resist the pun). Rather than counting a huge haul, they were sulking and washing sulking and washing. Until, the rabbi asked one of them if he could borrow a boat. Once Jesus stepped inside the boat, everything changed.

Thank you again for stopping by. “Wrestling with the Gospel of Luke (Part 3)” will post soon. Until then, join the “Missing in Missional” dialogue by clicking here.

Still learning,

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Bible


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