I consider Cameron Mills to be one of my closest friends. Many of you know that Cameron played basketball at the University of Kentucky and while he was there, he was apart of 2 National Championship teams. One of those teams was coached by Rick Patino and the other was coached by Tubby Smith. Another Close friend of mine, is Calvin Head. Calvin is the Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach at Todd County Central High School in Elkton. Now, Calvin and I are not as close as Cameron and I are but nonetheless, I still consider Calvin to be a close friend. Now, you would think since I live in Kentucky and I am close friends with a guy who was a Basketball Star at UK; and friends with a Head High School Basketball Coach in Kentucky; and married to a woman who kept the basketball stats at Bullitt East High School in Mt. Washington, Kentucky back when she was in high school that I would be a big basketball fan….. Well, I am not! I really don’t know anything about basketball. I am a football guy. I was talking to Dr. Jim Dodson, a local physician, just a couple of weeks ago and he said that he and I are probably some of the very few true UK football fans in Russellville (most all UK fans are basketball fans not so much with football). My wife and I were actually UK football season ticket holders last year but we decided not to buys season tickets this year because we felt that we wanted to go to the games that instead of buying tickets, we could probably go to Commonwealth Stadium on a game day and I bet we could find people who would just give us their tickets.
However, I have learned a little bit about basketball from watching Calvin. He is the youngest Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach in the entire State of Kentucky. Basketball coaches love it when their players have court awareness. Unlike dribbling, passing or shooting where athletes rely strictly on athletic talent during the course of a game, court awareness is a talent that involves competing with mental alertness, seeing all the obstacles in advance and reacting while moving at full speed. The great players have that special ability.
Many times over the years I have seen Todd Central compete against opponents with more physical talent. The games all start the same way. The opponents strut onto the court with a sense of confidence and a swagger in their own abilities. Their body language indicates they’re confident of dominating the contest.
Shortly after tip-off the melt down begins for the opponent. Realizing that although they may be the more dominant athletes on the court physically, they are competing against a team more mentally disciplined and emotionally balanced that relies upon one another rather than individual ability. Simply put, they have a much better understanding of how the game is to be played.
Our Christian walk is very similar. It requires that we have spiritual eyes to see. When we begin to grasp that wisdom comes from being attached to the Vine, we set the foundation for success in all areas of our life. Reading God’s Word and understanding His precepts keeps us from fouling out in the game of life. Spending quiet time listening and reflecting upon what we hear from the Spirit each day is where our real understanding is found. Knowing we have other believers as our teammates, family members, neighbors, co-workers and our church family who will hold us accountable and that we can rely upon in difficult times also provides great assurance of our success.
God Bless and GOOOOO CATS!!!!!!!!
Rev. Scott Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville