©1999 by James
A. Fowler. All rights
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The illustrator of these
parodies is Aaron Eskridge.
For contact and information about Aaron: Illustrator's
Text of article below graphic
| The basketball
game was proceeding at a frenzied pace. Receiving a pass from
his teammate, the hometown guard dribbled toward center court.
The defending team was employing a full-court press, so our player
faked to the left and drove hard to the right, dribbling to within
fifteen feet of the basket. There he attempted a one-handed jump
shot which ricocheted off the glass and caromed straight up off
the front of the rim.
Amazed that he has
missed the mark, our player stops in his tracks, his upper torso
hanging limp in dejection. Looking toward the coach, he sobs
his apologies and laments his failure. "I'm sorry coach,"
he cries. "I'll try to do better." But focusing on
the error only has a reverse effect that causes him to question
his competency and capabilities as a ballplayer and hinders his
| But so
is the other extreme, the player who, having missed the mark,
shrugs his shoulders and says, "So what? Big deal!"
Repressing the actuality of his inadequate performance, he turns
down court with a grin, glibly mouthing that flippant cliche,
"You win some; you lose some." Such a fatalistic repression
and refusal to admit responsibility is equally inappropriate
in pursuing the objective of the basketball game.
|| On the
other hand, the seasoned ballplayer has his reflexes conditioned
to respond to those times when he misses the mark (as all players
do!). Although never intending to miss, when he does so it does
not shatter his identity as a basketball player. His basketball
abilities are still intact: he is still on the team and in the
game. He has heard the coach yell many times in situations like
this, "Rebound!" He is conditioned to follow through.
At the very split second when he recognizes that the ball is
not going to penetrate the cords of the net, he continues toward
the goal to put the ball up again. There is but a momentary cognition
of having missed the mark, during which his reflexes admit and
concur with the appearance of temporary failure. But continuing
his drive unabashed, he is lifted above the others to take that
ball as it bounces off the rim and stuff it through the hoop.
Victory is imminent in such a pattern of continuity which expresses
a singleness of resolve to pursue the ultimate objective.
Are there not times when
we as Christians feel as though we are in a "full-court
press?" Life is proceeding at a frenzied pace. Our Christian
expressions appear to "miss the mark."
Witness the many Christians
who respond in repetitive rituals of confessional apologies.
Their confessions are but lamentations of wrong-doing that would
seem to impinge upon the integrity and mercies of God. Focusing
on their failures, they continue to wallow in the quagmire of
sin and defeat.
Equally incongruous are
those Christians who gloss over their transgressions. Refusing
to admit personal responsibility, they often ascribe their sin
to divine inevitability and culpability.
The relaxed Christian who
understands his imputed identity and imparted resources in Christ,
is not shattered by sin nor does he repress the reality of it.
The momentary cognition of the inadequate manifestation of who
he really is, suffices as the confessional agreement that God
expects. Having thus "rebounded," he continues with
a singleness of vision to be and do all that God intends him
to be and do.