“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” - Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
A few years ago, I shared this story and lesson. But in the midst of March Madness and Conference tournaments that lead to the NCAA tournament, I thought I’d share again… for posterity sake, if for nothing else.
I remember very little about my years of basketball. Very little about high school or college games or opponents. Just a memory here and a memory there. Most of it flushed away as we went from game to game.... year to year.
That being said, I do have one strong memory of my favorite play in college.
It happened my senior year in college. Our point guard had been injured the game before and our backup point guard wasn’t quite ready for that full time responsibility. So, this 6’6” swingman stepped into the floor general role for our Homecoming game.
During the first half of that game, I stepped in front of a pass and started going the other way to lead a fast break. As I was approaching the free throw line, from my peripheral vision I could see one of my teammates on my right streaking toward the basket. So, I dribbled the ball between my legs sort of pulling back as if I was getting ready to take my shot, and went to the left side of the free throw line, pulling the defender toward me and thus opening up the right side of the floor.
Then, without slowing or thinking, I pulled my dribble up and floated a pass toward the rim. At that moment, my teammate leaped toward the basket, caught the pass and dunked the alley-oop pass.
And the crowd went nuts with a thundering roar. The loudest I had ever heard in my years as a player.
I wasn’t the one that scored. I got no glory per se. I just made the pass.
And though I had worked on the ball handling move many, many times over the previous summer (primarily to be able to be able to take my own shot), my teammate and I never practiced that play... that pass and dunk. It just sort of happened.
And it’s my favorite basketball memory of my playing career. Not scoring but making the assist.
Making the assist is like sharing my faith. You see at that moment, my job was to distribute the ball to another. At the moment that I accepted Jesus as my Savior, my job, if you would, became to grow in my faith... and then share it with others.
My assists now are in helping to lead others to Jesus. Some may accept right now and make Jesus their Savior at the very moment I share. Some may hear and not yet respond until another or another share with him as well.
My job is to make the assist, share my faith, let others know where I stand and what I believe.
There is great joy in making the assist... great joy when someone prays to accept Christ. It’s emotional and exciting and a memory that lasts a lifetime... and an eternity changing moment for the one who accepts and believes, for the one who accepts the pass and scores.
And Boom!!! The angels in heaven celebrate... with a thundering roar.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem