Good evening. It’s good to be with you this evening. For the devotion tonight I want to take you back to one of the chief fundamentals of basketball. In order to do so, I want to share with you a verse from the book of Proverbs.
It comes from the opening of chapter 19, and it says,
"Whoever rushes with his feet misses his way."
You might not necessarily catch it at first, but this verse is talking about one of the most fundamental principles of basketball. It’s talking about “getting you head in the game.”
I used to have a coach who said, “You know what the hardest substance in the world is? It’s not a diamond; it’s the quarter inch of bone in your head.”
That’s exactly what this verse is getting at. It’s talking about a bonehead who doesn’t think before he acts. “Whoever rushes with his feet misses his way.”
This passage says that when you do that—when you make a rash decision, or act without thinking, the chances are the results are not going to be good. You’ll end up “missing your way.” That is to say, you will end up biffing it.
That language here is kind of reminiscent of a good jump shot. Isn’t it? If you rush with your feet, you’ll miss your way. You’ll miss the shot if you’re rushing it and not taking the time to get your feet planted, get your balance, get your elbow under the ball, and your eyes on the target.
If you don’t think about these things, you’re not going to hit your target, are you?
So this verse is warning you about being impulsive or reckless in your life’s decisions. If you are going to act like that, you’re not going to do well.
This might characterize how some of you do your term papers. You put it off all semester long, and then—before you know it—the paper is due the next day. So you crash the library, you check out a few books, you feverishly flip through each one to grab some notes. And then, after tanking a pot and a half of coffee, you pound out a 10 page paper.
What are the chances of getting a good grade on that paper? Chances are, you’re going to be a little concerned about your eligibility because you’ve not really given it a lot of thought. You’ve been a little hasty in your work and you’re going to “miss the way” to a good grade.
Isn’t that one of the key parts of basketball? When are you the most likely to score? When you take time to set up the offense, or when you hastily rush with your feet, driving to the basket and forcing a play that really isn’t there?
Are any of you guys like this? Are you drive-aholics? You immediately put the ball to the floor and you don’t care if King Kong is standing in the lane, you’re going in for a layup.
I would assume that, since you’re playing at this level, you know that isn’t right. If you are playing college ball, you know that you got to work the offense, move the ball, and be smart.
Sure, there will be times when the shot clock is down and you got to rush the shot. But overall, you know that you have to control the ball and play a good mental game. And even in that instance, you’re still thinking. You know what you got to do to prevent a shot clock violation.
Let me ask you this: What is the cause of most turnovers? They are due mainly to players rushing and being too hasty, aren’t they? Traveling is perhaps the most vivid illustration of this verse. It is being hasty with your feet, i.e. its moving your feet too fast. You get too rush in driving to the hole and you look like a freight train that has just cut loose from the track.
What about bad passes? Why do bad passes make turnovers? It’s because you are either not thinking about making a good pass. You miss your way because you are not thinking where the defense is or you are not putting into practice the fundamentals of how to pass the ball (you throw a one hand pass that has no control).
If you do any of that stuff your coach will probably yell at you and say something like, “Get your head in the game.”
So you see, the best basketball players are not always the best athletes. The best players are smart athletes. They are the guys who think and not the ones who are hasty and thoughtless.
But you know what, this applies to more than just basketball. That applies to all of life. Ultimately, this verse is talking about living a reckless life. It is talking about a foolish person who isn’t thinking about what God says in His word and how that applies to your life. This is describing a guy who is rushing through life without ever submitting himself Jesus Christ. As a result, he misses his way.
Think about it like this: If you are in a relationship with a guy or a girl, what are the decisions you are making in that relationship based on? Are you thinking about what God says about honoring one another and staying accountable for purity’s sake? Or are you just rushing in and making your decisions based on whatever feels good at the moment?
What’s going to happen there? You are going to miss your way. You’re not going to have the relational fulfillment that God really wants for you. You’re probably going to have all kinds of problems in your relationships. That’s because your relationships are based on selfishness and “getting the feel.” And what is going to happen when the feel doesn’t feel as good anymore? Well, problems result. That’s what happens. There is heartbreak. There is likely divorce. There could be adultery or some other kinds of problem.
If you are going to enter into a relationship, you shouldn’t rush in without thinking about God’s design for that relationship.
The same holds true for your finances. You guys probably have already been hit up with credit card advertisements. Credit card companies love you guys. They are in a mad rush to get you a signed up for a credit card. Because a lot of college age people are pretty reckless with their credit cards. They are downloading away on iTunes. They are clicking through amazon and making trips to Wal-Mart to load up on stuff.
But what happens when you live like that? What happens when you don’t think about what God’s word says about contentment and the excessive love of material things? You’ll miss your way! You will miss out on real wealth and prosperity that God intends.
Ultimately though, I want you to understand that this verse applies to the greatest goal of our lives. While it is good for the basketball court, your relationships, and your finances, it has as its chief application your relationship with Jesus Christ.
What is your main goal? It’s eternal life. It’s what happens after you die. And this verse seeks to help you gain that eternal life.
A lot of people are rushing through life. A lot of people are going to miss the way to eternal life because they are just rushing along in this life without any thought about who Jesus Christ is as Lord and Savior. They don’t take time to think about what the Bible says about how important it is to submit to Christ and serve him only. And you know what’s going to happen? They’re going to miss the way. They are missing their way to heaven.
Jesus Christ says, “I am the WAY, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” In other words, the only way to eternal life in heaven is through a personal relationship with Christ.
Unfortunately though, a lot of people (people like you!) are missing that way because they are rushing through life. They are thinking, “I don’t have time to deal with all that religious stuff. I’m in season now. I got practice and I got to train.” Then in the fall they are saying, “I got to focus on school. If I don’t, I won’t get a good job.” Then they get a job, and then a wife. And then children come along. All they are doing is rushing through life without taking the time to think about Christ.
And I want you guys to know that someone who lives this way—someone who makes haste with his feet and does not give heed to God’s word, is on the fast track to hell.
It’s important that you not be like this fool that is described here in this verse. Make sure you are wise and take that principle that is so fundamental to the basketball and apply it to the whole of your life.
And the good news is that, if we do this—if we submit to Christ and let His Word govern our life’s decisions, He will pardon all our reckless, impulsive acts and He will give us eternal life.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.