From Trevor Lubiens:
"On defense, we will start out on black into red and on offense let's run play #3 to Graham." These were the predictable words of my high school basketball coach at the end of every pregame talk my senior year. If I were to round up all nine seniors that were on the King's Knights varsity team in 97', I am 99.99% sure they could all tell you the same thing. I could take it a step further and tell you the details. All of our defenses were color coordinated. Black was a 1-2-1-1 full court press, gold was a 1-2-2 zone/man hybrid, white was our 2-3 zone, and red was our regular half-court man-to-man defense.
Coach Peterson was the best high school basketball coach I could have asked for. And...we were good! In fact, my senior year we were 20-0 going into the postseason! But many teams have great coaches and still lose. What was the difference for us? Unity.
But the unity didn't just happen. There were a few of us on that team that had played together since 8th grade. Some of the guys had played together since 5th grade. We knew each other. But more than knowing each other, we knew our Coach.
For me, it really started my freshman year when I didn't make varsity or junior varsity. I was placed on the c-team. I was devastated. I can still remember nervously walking into Coach Peterson's office and simply asking him what I needed to do to make varsity next year. Coach Peterson was so excited to talk with me, and I remember him telling me that he was always available whenever I needed him. I took him seriously.
That off-season I worked so hard at perfecting my basketball game, especially on those things Coach told me I needed to work on. Guess what? That next year I skipped right over junior varsity and made varsity! The next three years I spent so much time with Coach P through regular seasons, spring leagues, summer leagues, early morning workouts, or catching up in his office. By my senior year of basketball, I practically knew what Coach was going to say before he said it. It's almost like he was playing through me. We were one. So were most of the other guys on the team. And because of that oneness, because of that unity...we won!
That is the prayer of Jesus in John 17.
"Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-I in them and you in me-so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."
God wants to spend time with us! God is always available! God wants us to ask what we need to do to make varsity! God wants us to ask how we can be better people, better husbands, better wives, better parents, better bosses and employees, better servants, better kingdom builders. Prayer is one of the best ways I know of being united with God. Just think what might happen if we all did that? What if we all sought God's will and then played together as a united team? That is an exciting thought.
Practice time in prayer. Check out Pastor Tim's challenge of 30 minutes in daily prayer here.