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Lessons on the Court, pt. 3

02 Sep Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Lessons on the Court, pt. 3
Lessons on the Court, pt. 3

In part one and part two of this series, I shared lessons I learned while attending a basketball camp with my grandson. Now, in this final part of this series here’s one more thing I learned…

I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention…

Once again the basketball camp director wandered far away from talking about basketball skills and techniques. Many of the high school students at this camp had the goal of being recruited by a Division I college. In this speech, he didn’t tell them how they had to improve, rather he told the young men what would keep them from being recruited. For this group it wasn’t the lack of skill that would keep them from fulfilling their dreams. Their biggest barrier was distractions.


Guess what he listed as the number 1 distraction for these players not to be recruited by colleges. Girlfriends! That’s right, girlfriends. He said that more careers have been sidetracked and ruined by relationships than any other contributing factor. His advice was simple, in high school stay away from girls! He was serious. Parents standing in the back wanted to start clapping. The boys wanted this guy to shut up. It was quite a scene!

What do you think he listed as the #2 distraction for being recruited? Facebook! Again, the parents wanted to clap and cheer and the kids were thinking, you sound just like my out-of-touch parents. He built his case. Many college athletic departments have cute girls who friend request high school athletes interested in attending their college. Of course the high school boy will confirm the request of the cute girl and the investigation begins!

With access to Facebook, the college can find out what the athlete likes, who their friends are, what they talk about, etc. The illustration was given of a promising basketball player who simply posted a marijuana leaf on Facebook. He was immediately dropped from the recruiting process.

Distractions in the Ministry

As I’m writing this blog I’m distracted by the sights and sound of the beach. The weather is perfect, the waves are big, the pool is inviting, I can see dolphins in the ocean, my grandsons are waiting for me at the basketball court and I’m supposed to write a blog of substance!

You know as well as I do that little things can come along in life that can spoil our walk with God. Song of Solomon calls them the little foxes. They meet us at every turn. The beach is not evil but for me at this moment it’s a big distraction. A distraction is simply a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

What distractions hinder you from giving your full attention to God? If you’re like me the list may be long. Here are several practices that may help you overcome distractions as you seek to focus on God.

  1. Find a pocket of peace. A place where you’re comfortable and relatively quiet.
  2. Turn off your electronics.
  3. Slow down. Breathe deeply.
  4. Talk to God, begin by thanking him for your blessings.
  5. Slowly read a passage of scripture. Allow the words to sink in.
  6. Journal your thoughts.
  7. During your day maintain contact with God by whispering short messages to God. Treat them like text messages.
  8. And finally, write your blog before you go on vacation!

Blessings to you but I’m headed to the beach!

Jerry Higley
Executive Director at Lebanon Valley Youth For Christ
Jerry Higley is the Executive Director of Lebanon Valley Youth For Christ and an adjunct faculty member at LBC teaching Student Ministry courses at both the undergrad and graduate level. When he's not at work, he loves spending time outdoors hunting and fishing with his grandkids.