Monday, April 9, 2007

Discipleship and the NCAA

In my last post I wrote about discipleship and Wimbledon and while I am on the sports side of things I might as well do another one, this time on basketball. In particular the NCAA.

Pronounced NC double A, it is the premier collegiate sports association. Although the association includes just about every major sports competition, the NCAA is primarily known for basketball.

Unlike professional basketball (NBA) the NCAA has a different brand of play. And while it has its fair share of stars, it does not have the Bill Rusells, Magic Johnsons, Michael Jordans or Lebron James’. The reason why is because all its players are amateurs. And that’s what makes the league different.

An amateur is someone who engages in a pursuit be it in sports or any other endeavor without remuneration. Which is why NCAA action is different. It is full of heart. Players diving for balls and fans shouting and cheering in unison are trademarks of NCAA games.

It is not unlikely to see players and fans cry after a lost game. That’s because of the passion that has caused them to exert everything they have in them. In other words they give it their all simply for the love of the game.

This is where discipleship and the NCAA meet. Like the NCAA discipleship is not only for professionals – pastors, evangelists, apostles and teachers, but for those who have passion to see the kingdom of God established. It is the giving of oneself fully to the desires of God because you love Him.

The word amateur comes from the Latin word "amator" (lover) which is derived from the root word "amare" or love. In other words amateurs are lovers. Sure they are not professionals, true they fumble and make lots of mistakes, but all of that is negated and nullified because of the passion and the heart whenever they do something.

Fact is the Russells, Johnsons, Jordans and James’ were all at one time NCAA players before they became professionals. Discipleship like the NCAA is all about heart. That’s the part we should never lose.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalms 147:10-11

See also my other posts:

Prayer and the Snails

Who Danced on National TV and Embarrassed Herself