Friday, September 28, 2012

Basketball and the Spiritual Life

Since June, I have been pondering about an idea concerning my own spiritual journey. Last night, I had the notion to watch the movie “Hoosiers” starring Gene Hackman and Barbara Hershey which helped me to recall my spiritual journey thoughts from June.

While shooting baskets on retreat, I was imagining some teammates that might be playing with me. Except, I was not thinking of basketball greats that you might be thinking of at this point like Peyton Siva or Michael Jordan. I immediately made a connection to my spiritual life and my own team. This is no ordinary team and by no means is it a dream. Rather, it is reality. So, I am announcing the line-up to my spiritual team.

Point Guard: Jason Harris – Because of God’s great gift of free will, I must call the plays based on the will and desire of the Coach.

Guard: St. James – first hand witness to the transfiguration and the healing of Jairus’ daughter and known as one of the Sons of Thunder.

Small Forwards: St. Anthony – when there is trouble or hope is lost he can help find and restore things.

Power Forward: St. Francis – when the game gets tough he helps to bring peace and sense of beauty back to the situation.

Center: St. Michael the Archangel – when there are lots of ‘missed shots’ Michael gets the rebounds and helps to put the team back into play

Head Coach: Jesus – always turn to the coach for a reminder of the game plan and the support that you need

Assistant Coach: Mary – works with the team when the strength is lacking

Trainer/Manager: St. Joseph – provides the materials and extra support needed to be effective and to move the team to the next location.

This team always plays zone because there is no way that any of the team can do it alone. Particularly, when we are playing a daily match with the forces of evil, the game cannot be played alone. Just like in the movie ‘Hoosiers’, Coach Norm modifies and teaches the team a new mentality of playing and working together. Coach talks with the team and finds some motivation to keep them playing. Jesus does the same thing for us by finding ways to encourage us, but we have to TALK and LISTEN to the coach.

Who is on your team? The team is ready to play. Are YOU on your team? Don’t forget to go to practice this week.

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