Fall is upon us! What an exciting season of the year!! While I love summer, as a sports fan, autumn brings something that I really look forward to. I know this year, many in Texas are excited about the Fall Classic – #GoStros!
And though I really hope the Astros win the Series, I’m mostly looking forward to basketball season. I grew up playing basketball, and the cooler weather tends to bring up memories of shooting baskets with friends outside. I also look forward to the smells and sounds of old basketball gyms with balls bouncing and shoes squeaking. It brings back so many fun memories.
There was a season of my life when most everything revolved around basketball. I’d make sure to have my school work finished just so I could watch a ball game. I’d do the laundry so that the warm exhaust from the dryer, which emptied by the driveway, could warm my hands on really cool nights. In high school, I was so consumed with basketball that I tried to make everything about it…even the Bible. I tried to find any scripture passage that I could claim for the game. By God’s grace, I found Psalm 100.
Psalm 100 is great! I think it is a classic from scripture. While I intended to find scripture for self-centered reasons, the Lord used His word to show me what really matters in life.
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:1-3
The first half of this Psalm of Thanksgiving taught me that life is not about me or my pursuit of happiness through sports. It’s about serving the LORD. It’s about knowing that the Lord is GOD – the GOD, the Creator of heaven and earth. By His grace I had a basketball and goal and a driveway and a dryer vent near the driveway. He created the Fall and cool weather. He made even me. I belong to Him.
This lesson was humbling. But, it was also very encouraging. The next two verses told me how I should respond to my Creator and Shepherd.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5
Psalm 100:4 was the verse I wrote on my basketball shoes. I wanted to remind myself that I needed to enter His [basketball] ‘courts’ with thankfulness and praise. How wonderful to consider that the God who created me, who loved me, who sent His Son Jesus Christ to save me from the penalty and power of my sin is the God who cares so much for me that He calls me His own. He takes care of me like a Good Shepherd does – He provides for me and protects me.
He loves me. This is classic God. He is God. He is the Creator. He is love.
Wow, what a God!!
The only response there has to be humble thankfulness and joyful praise!
One other thing that tends to come with this time of year is busyness. The holidays are rapidly approaching. Christmas shopping could start at any moment. Travel plans are being made. The Astros are in the Series! Basketball has started!
In this season of life, let us not forget about Who created and ordained this season. Let us not set our lives to revolve around the things of earth – whether that is sports, work, or anything that could distract us from understanding that this life is not about us, but about Jesus Christ.
Let us, by God’s grace and through His word, humbly express our thankfulness to Him for being our Creator and our Shepherd. Let us boldly and joyfully praise the Lord through our words and our actions.
Whatever ‘court’ of life you enter today, remember that there is no better way to thank the Lord than to tell others what He has done for you. Let us make Jesus known!