Years ago, a wise college basketball coach evaluated a hopeful recruit with these words: “His body betrays him.” At the time, these were stunning yet insightful words.

What in the world was he talking about? After all, this hopeful recruit was truly dedicated, a hard worker, gifted skillfully, mentally above board. However, physically his body was a problem in basketball terms: short arms, slow feet, no elevation. No wonder the coach’s correct evaluation was Body Betrayal.

Relating to life, I have discovered there are other betrayals. Why are they called betrayals? Simply because they are pretend, unreal, fake, false gods. They pretend to offer the world, but they crumble and often leave a void.

Having inhabited the basketball world, I now realize basketball eventually betrays everyone and anyone who makes basketball more important than doing the right thing at the right time. In addition, every basketball diehard (whether a coach, player or NBA owner) comes to the day when basketball is over. The dream eventually dies. Yet, too often, too many people will not let the dream die. 

What is the solution? Delight in the game as James Naismith invented it to be in 1891. 

  • For the coach, treat your players how you would want your loved ones treated, do the right thing, and don’t cheat.
  • For the high schooler, play well and enjoy the team camaraderie.
  • For the college hopeful, please take it as far as you can.
  • For the booster, encourage and give what you can give, but not beyond.
  • For the professional, treat it like a great job.
  • For the fan, simply enjoy it.

Personally, I do want to thank you, Mr. Basketball. You have been a good and enjoyable ticket to get me to where I am today. Any pain was worth the ride. Thankfully, you cannot betray me because I found my real, steadfast God 56 years ago. 

As demonstrated in March Madness, the game of life is also won when I guard and protect my heart and mind. Then fear and anxiety will not steal my faith, hope, and love.