Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready To Play – Rev 20

Disclaimer – for those non-sports fans, hang with me – I am going some where with this ramble.

Last night my alma matter, the University of Florida Fightin’ Gators, won the NCAA basketball National Championship. I am sure of this – I watched it twice, once live and again around midnight from my TIVO – love TIVO. To be sure it wasn’t a dream, I read about it (over my 9 grain bagel and hazelnut cup of coffee) this morning – in 3 different papers.


Florida and basketball is just not synonymous. Duke, Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, sure – but Florida? Through the Gators magical run I heard the phrase “Everybody wants to get to Heaven, but nobody wants to die”. And as we wrap up our study of the book of Revelation, I read about the Lamb’s book of life.

Analogy? In the words of the great philosopher Simon Cowell to Mandisa after she blessed the nation with the Christian song SHACKLES, please allow me to be

“…a bit self indulgent”

This unheralded and preseason 75th ranked team in the country realized that in order to win as a team they must die to themselves. In the past Florida has recruited the high profile superstars, but never had the success that this group of guys did. Every team wants to get to heaven, which in college basketball is the National Championship, but nobody wants to die. Our selfish nature wants to succeed with minimal effort and maximum pride.

In his post game news conference Head Coach Billy Donovan said “I told them before the game that this game was going to be coming down to everything that we talk about being. It’s going to come down to unselfishness, teamwork, extra passes, high assist totals and then being able to defend and rebound.”

Funny, never once did he mention scoring, or making the Sports Center highlight real.

As a Christ follower, I want to get to Heaven. But my flesh does not want to die. In order for me to be an effective Christian I must do all of the little disciplines of faith – be in the Word every day, pray, serve others, give, repent, and grow as a Christian.

If there is one lesson that this Gator team taught me about my walk, it is that my coach, THE COACH, wants me to play the role that HE designed me to play. When we all play within our giftings for our Coach, victory is certain.

As excited as I was last night, even doing the Gator Chomp from my couch (alone, that is strange isn’t it), NOTHING compares to the eternal joy that is promised to us as believers.


One response to this post.

  1. Go Gators! Congrats from the Big Blue State! We were doing the chomp last night too. Those guys sure played with alot of heart.

    I want to know that I am living right in the middle of the will that God has for my life. I’m trying to do a better job of hearing what play he’s calling!

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