This is Mark’s first year playing Recreational Basketball instead of Upward Basketball. I’m learning a lot about being a mother of an athlete…like when to speak after a game and when not to. 🙂
Seriously, it’s been a great experience. He’s enjoyed the challenge and the competition and I’ve enjoyed watching him.
One of the neatest parts about watching this team has been watching his coach. The coach is all into it–yelling and encouraging and always, always coaching. Never stops coaching. I thought I knew something about basketball (even though I’m far from an athlete). I’ve learned a lot just from watching him encourage these boys to do their best.
But one of the best parts have been half-time. During half-time, before the coach even speaks to his boys, he crosses the court in order to talk to someone else.
I’ve had the privilege of sitting next to her during these conversations and “overhearing” their discussion. He comes over and his first question to her is “Ok, what am I not seeing?”
You see, he is seeking her perspective. He knows that from the coaches bench he is getting one perspective. Obviously she knows basketball, and has a different perspective from sitting up in the crowd. She immediately and confidently tells him what needs to be done in the second half in order to come out strong and win the game. She notices who is open and who is being shut down. She notices who on the other tendency has the potential to get into foul trouble.
And he listens.
And then crosses back over the court to rally his team to prepare for the second half.
Watching this exchange got me to thinking. Are we willing to get a “second perspective” on our lives?
I know that I’m “too close to me” to be objective. To be able to see the whole picture. And you are as well. We are selfish creatures. We are so pre-occupied with the tedious, the immediate, the senseless, that we miss God’s picture for us.
C.S. Lewis has this to say:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
We often have the wrong perspective. A too narrow perspective. We are far “too easily pleased.”
So what do we do? How do we get a wider perspective on our lives?
I think there are three things we can do that will help:
- Spend daily time in God’s word. This gives us an automatic wider perspective beyond ourselves. We read in the Bible stories rich with God’s works and ways. We see ourselves in His word and we learn more about the world around us.
- Spend time reading a wide variety of material about the world. Be willing to read outside of your comfort zone. Sample books on leadership, great novels by great authors, and books that preach the Gospel to us.
- Spend time with people you trust, who love you and can see a bigger picture for you than you can see for yourself. Ask them to be honest with you about your life, your actions, and your Christian witness. Listen to them carefully. Take their words to heart. Let them speak into your life what God needs you to hear.
“What am I not seeing?” Maybe that needs to be a constant question we pose to our God. Maybe even a daily question. Maybe, just maybe we need to be willing to admit, like Mark’s coach, that our perspective is truly too narrow and we need assistance in seeing the bigger picture.