Playing Like a Champion


Michael Jordan is one of the greatest champions to ever play. I saw him once against the Houston Rockets.

Most of the game he was a sleeper. I was disappointed. Jordan didn’t seem like anything special. The Rockets were owning him.

Two minutes to go in the game. Rockets up by ten. No chance. Then it was like someone hit a switch in Michael Jordan. He drains a three. Blocks a shot. Drives the lane. Within a few seconds, the lead is cut to four.

Where’d this guy come from? Nobody can stop him.

We are all yelling and screaming for the team to pick it up. And they are trying. Under a minute left, and Houston is clinging to a three-point lead. Someone fouls Scotty Pippin. Pippin makes the first of two. On the second shot I saw something I’d never seen. Pippin’s free-throw hit the back of the ring and bounced high over the rim. Michael Jordan suddenly appeared out of nowhere, hovering like a kite three feet above the rim. He caught the free-throw and slammed it for two. Where did he come from? How did he get so high? The replay showed that it was a set play. Michael started by the sideline and took off running as Pippin made the shot. When the ball hit the rim Michael was lifting off. He caught the ball like it was a routine ally ooop.

“Someone get him!”

“Can you believe that guy?”

Houston miraculously managed to drive down the court and score. Up by two with less than five seconds, the Bulls in bounded to Jordan. Every Rocket knew Jordan was getting the ball, but he got it anyway. Freed himself for a 20 footer. The shot, the buzzer, the ball hit the rim and bounced around before falling helplessly to the floor.

We were exhausted.

One guy had changed the game. Even though he lost that night, he was the greatest.

We can learn from Jordan. We need that same passion for excellence in our spiritual lives.

Paul was a big sports fan. Listen to what he wrote:

(1 Corinthians 9:24-27) Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

Think about it. Their wreath is perishable. Ours is eternal. So isn’t it even more important to play this game called life like a champion.

That’s the good news.

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