i get it, i have issues.  it is pride and my over zealous competitiveness that seem to be rearing their ugly heads these days.  this was literally brought to my attention the hard way a few weeks ago on the basketball court.  did i mention i was hard-headed, too?

i am thrilled to be a part of the homewood girl trotters church-league basketball team.  i love getting back on the court for fun pick-up games, but somehow the past competitive athlete comes out each week.  a light-hearted game transforms into a regional championship in my mind, even though my out-of-shape body struggles to keep up for the hour of play. the bottom line is these games really don’t matter.  there is no scoreboard, no organized plays, and no trophy or medal.  so why on earth did i see the need to sacrifice my body for a ball going out of bounds?

it was my night to lead the devotion before we played. i shared about how we are to come humbly to Jesus, because our very best is merely filthy rags.  then, the game began. we were not even 15 minutes into play and the ball was going out of bounds.  i am not even really sure if it was knocked out by my team.  there was no time to think, because something just took over.  i went after it. running full speed, i jump out of bounds and threw the ball back in towards my teammates.  now, another lesson i am learning at my age is that my body doesn’t cooperate like it did in my younger years.  yes, i got the ball, but i couldn’t stop my body.  so with no control, i flew head first into aluminum bleachers.  the top of my head hit square into the side of the second row with my neck taking all the shock.  my hands, somehow thinking they could stop my hurling body, were out in front and went under the bleachers and slammed into the supports.  moments later i was flat on my back with a circle of girls starring down at me.  i was mortified and most assuredly out of play.  honestly, i was thankful to be able to stand and walk after this collision.

hours passed and i was at home with an ice pack on the top of my head, my neck, and my fingers.  i sat there asking myself, “why in the world did that ball seem to matter so much?”  then i recall a friend saying to me on the bleachers after my injury, “wow, danielle, that was taking being humble too far.”  i thought to myself,  that had nothing to do with humility and everything to do with P.R.I.D.E.  this girl that opened the game night talking about humility, ended her night because she needed to be seen as some kind of hero.  somehow during “play”, my pride fueled me to sacrifice the whole for something relatively unimportant.  (i did ask later, did i save the ball?  my teammates said yes and they were in the middle of a fast break when they noticed me on the floor and others circled around me.  they stopped and didn’t even score.  my effort was in vain.)

with plenty of additional moments spent icing bruises, knots, and pain; i reflected on other areas in my life and how pride had skewed my priorities.

  • where else had i sacrificed a bigger truth for a insignificant “win.”
  • had i ever gone so far for something that didn’t really matter and been benched for a greater victory?
  • what have i missed in my walk with Jesus and ministry to kids, because i was consumed with the “seen” while sidelining the sacred?

i sadly see traces of the same thing i was guilty of on the basketball court that night in my personal and ministry life.  i also see that time is short, eternal things too important, and ministry hours too precious not to learn from my knock on my hard head.  surely i am not the only one that learns lessons this way, but this one will not be in vain.

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