It was intense as the University of Cincinnati and Xavier basketball teams were neck and neck in their annual “crosstown shootout” (on 1/26/17). In the second half, UC freshman Jarron Cumberland came off the bench and wowed the crowd with some pretty impossible moves and shots. UC won. In the post-game interview, when the radio guy asked Coach Mick Cronin about Cumberland’s performance, Coach said, “He got better when the game got bigger.” Coach went on to explain that when he was recruiting this kid, this is exactly the behavior he saw—and why he wanted Cumberland on the team. So in the Xavier game, when things were desperate, when his team was in danger of losing . . . rather than being intimidated by the “bigness” of the game, this freshman stepped up—with confidence and determination.
I couldn’t help making a spiritual application. More and more false teachings and practices are being accepted in the church. It’s hard to keep up. Just heard about two-way journaling: you write something to God, wait a minute, and then he’ll write something back using your hand. (This is really automatic writing, an occult practice.) There’s also grave soaking: you lie on the grave of some supposed modern-day prophet because—how shall I put this?—a hunk of the spirit is still hanging around; you can “soak” up that person’s spiritual power. And there’s more. But all these trends are merely new twists on old deceptions.
Some believers just don’t get it. Others notice “that gritty feeling”—an uncomfortable feeling about some teaching/practice—but they aren’t quite sure why. Still others know the truth but wring their hands, lacking the confidence to confront what’s happening.
At the crosstown shootout, Cumberland knew WHAT the trouble was and he knew HOW to remedy it. All that was left was to make the decision to step up. What a lesson! We’re not on a basketball court, church, but even our “freshmen guards” have gotta get better—because the game has gotten bigger. Go, team!