Week 28: Day 3

Ephesians 5:17
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Have you ever felt like you were trapped in the middle of the dessert? With no food? Or water? Or with no place to go? Sometimes we get that feeling when doing our so called “routines” and nothing is happening and we don’t seem to be moving forward. 
Last week was one of the weeks wherein basketball fans would tune in their television or computers to witness another batch of college players get drafted in the National Basketball Association or the NBA. Each and every year, people try to compare the latest batch to previous batches who made a huge impact in the game of basketball. It started in the draft of 1984 which they say was the best draft in NBA history. Names like Hakeem Olajuwan, John Stockton, Charles Barkley and who can forget about a person called Air Jordan. There was also the 1996 draft with players like Allen Iverson, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. But there was the 2003 draft which was very interesting and intriguing. Not because of LeBron James. But because of a player who got drafted 51st overall –Kyle Korver.

Kyle grew up in a Christian family with his dad being a pastor in a church in Pella, Iowa. Kyle also grew up with a basketball lifestyle. Growing up in Los Angeles, Kyle was a Laker fan. Seeing Magic Johnson or Kobe Bryant play, he knew he could be a basketball player just like them. And also having a mother who was the top high school player in her time scoring 74 points in a game, Kyle thought his basketball journey would be an easy one. But during the NBA pre-draft workouts, Kyle’s back started to bother him. He would always have some sort of ache in his back that made him think about his future in basketball.

But before the NBA draft, Kyle would first have to attend one of the milestones in his life: his college graduation. And the morning of his graduation day, while Kyle was still on his bed, his father came and said something that really changed Kyle’s perspective in life and also in the up and coming NBA draft. His dad left him a verse in Proverbs 3:5-6,”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” And after that talk, his mother gave him a graduation card that has a printed Bible verse at the bottom. And that verse is also Proverbs 3:5-6.

And after that moment, going to the NBA draft, Kyle prayed that verse AT LEAST 20 TIMES A DAY. And that helped him go through the draft and was selected 51st by the Philadelphia 76ers. He didn’t care that he was the 51st pick out of the 58 picks they had in the draft. But he got one problem: He didn’t like the team that drafted him. Not because of the team or the players but the system of the team. He thought he would not fit in the system and that he would just get buried at the end of the bench.

One month after being drafted, his father was praying for him in his office which happened to be located in his youngest brother’s former bedroom. And the room was decorated with sports posters and some of his boy’s old trophies and plaques. One particular framed photo caught the attention of Kyle’s father. It was a senior photo of Kyle walking off the court on senior night at his high school Creighton. In the picture, Kyle was pointing toward his family in the crowd. Then his dad noticed something else. The way the picture was positioned, it looked like Kyle was pointing towards the back of his brother’s door, and lo and behold, right there was hanging a poster of Allen Iverson playing for the Philadelphia 76ers.

And when his dad told him about that story, from that point, all Kyle would say was,”Alright God, it wasn’t the situation I wanted, but I knew it was where He wanted me to be at that time in my career.” So Kyle continued to work hard, and stuck to the principles he’s lived by at that point. Along with taking care of his spiritual needs, lifting weights, and trying to get plenty of sleep.

And when discussing about Proverbs 3:5-6, most people focus on the first part of the passage, the charge to trust God and not lean on your own understanding. But the best part is what happens when you do those things. You are able to benefit from the promise that says,”He will guide you on the right paths.” And that is exactly happened to Kyle in his career as an athlete. He not only grew as one of the best shooters in the game who made a career milestone last season, making 3-point shots for 127 straight games (No player in the history has done what he just did last season.), but also a great leader on the court.

In today’s world, there are so many distractions and different directions we could take that it’s so easy to get sidetracked. But if you stick to the plan God has laid out before you, He will take care of the rest and get you where you’re going. In order to be effective today, we must first know God’s plan and then move forward boldly and confidently according to that plan. Your decision about whether or not to follow God’s path comes down to whether or not you trust that He has a plan.

Jeremiah 29:11,”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

The Greatest Leader Ever: Essential Leadership Principles

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