A Weekly Devotional from the
South Green Street Church of Christ


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A Game I'll Never Forget
By Steve Higginbotham
March 16, 2005

I was privileged to witness an extraordinary event two nights ago.  My 8-year-old son plays basketball on a YMCA team.  He's not very good, but he has so much fun playing.  While some of the children playing are very competitive, that's just not how I would describe my son.  As a matter of fact, the main reason he is playing is because each team member receives a trophy at the end of the season, and he likes the idea of having received more trophies than his dad did when he was a boy.

As his final game of the season was coming to an end, Matthew hadn't scored a single basket the entire season.  In fact, he was the only child on the team that hadn't scored a point all season long.  That's when something extraordinary took place.  The children on Matthew's team began throwing him the ball and telling him to shoot.  None of his teammates would take a shot, but would work to get Matthew the ball.  Matthew took about four or five shots, but they all rolled off the rim.  Time was running out.  There was less then five seconds left to play on the clock.

That's when the referee positioned himself directly in front of the clock so no one could see the time, and he stopped the clock from ticking.  The kids played on.  For the next four or five minutes, they went up and down the court, each time Matthew took a shot, but it wouldn't fall for him.  Finally, Matthew took a shot and it went it.  The buzzer immediately sounded, the game ended, and the gym erupted with applause!  He was so proud of himself.

Though Matthew's team lost the game, the applause and cheering indicated that there was a greater interest in the minds those present than simply the outcome of the game.  The players, referees, and parents weren't interested in the final score, but in the success of a little boy who is a below-average basketball player.

Matthew received his trophy that night, and yes, he reminded me that he has more trophies than I had when I was his age.  He also scored two points on a "buzzer beater."  Those will be his memories. But what I will always remember about that game is the way that everyone rallied around a little boy with few basketball skills and cheered more for his success, than for all the other baskets made during the entire season by much better players.

"There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance" (Luke 15:7).


Copyright 2005, South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky
Permission is granted to copy these articles.