By Deanna Cook
To kick off our basketball tournament, we have a pep rally to celebrate our players. A tradition is the All-Stars game. But this year, instead of just watching our senior basketball players, the players had to pick a partner from the crowd. And, as we are a K-12 school, their partner had to be in grades 1, 2, or 3. The 10-minute game was the highlight of the entire pep rally. Instead of just watching over-confident adolescent boys show off, we got to see older students helping younger students. They would pass the ball to their much smaller teammate, lift them up towards the basket so they could attempt a slam dunk, and scream in delight when someone scored a point. The star of the game was one of our grade 2 girls, Danielle. When she got the ball, she would tuck it under her arm like a football and run. And it didn’t matter what direction she ran. She had her goal, to get it to the net: any net available. At one point, she even had to sit down in the middle of the court in order to catch her breath. But soon she was back in the game. The more she hustled, the more the crowd cheered. This little feisty grade two student was definitely the Star of the All-Star!
In Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message), it reads:
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
I want to be like Danielle. I want to live with that exhilaration and determination. So many times I flag in my faith, but I need to remember I am not on my own. I have so many who can cheer me on and who have shown me the way. I have so many opportunities and tremendous resources that God has made available to me. I can find joy by fixing my eyes on God and I can endure when I am tired. I can be Danielle!