Thursday, May 07, 2009

Basketball just isn't my thing...

I just got back from playing basketball with some of the guys from church. We do this on the first Thursdays of every month. Every time I go I realize just how bad I am at basketball. I'm short. I have poor aim. I try way too hard to make creative passes. In fact tonight I single-handedly blew a 6-4 lead by passing the ball to the opposing team 3 times in a row and then completely missing shots when I had the chance to shoot. We lost the game: 10-6.

I only played organized basketball for one season in 5th grade. I had 2 points the entire season. The coach was my neighbor and he would let me play the last 2 minutes of each game out of the kindness of his heart. Jim Goodman was a merciful coach. He pitied me. I say all of this to reiterate that my basketball game stinks...and that's okay. I'm not good at basketball... but I'm pretty good at other things:

I take really good pictures...lots of practice now with 3 kids.
I can relate with most people pretty well.
I usually can come up with some good ideas.
I'm a good dad to my kids.
I can run 3 miles now without feeling like I'm going to pass out or die.

Like I said, I've got some things I can do well. That's the way God made me. He did not make me to be an NBA player. The key is to know what I do well, what I was made to do, and then do those things to the best of my abilities. It'd be ridiculous for me to spend hours on the court trying to better my basketball game when I know that I'll never be that good at it. I need to work on my strengths and make those the best they can be instead of focusing on my weaknesses. Most of us try way too hard to make our weaknesses stronger when, at best, with lots of attention and training, all they'll be is mediocre. Meanwhile I'll have taken too much precious attention away from my strengths. Even my strengths suffer when I'm focusing on my weaknesses. Find out what you're good at and work hard there.

I think this thought can transfer to many areas of personal and organizational philosophy. As churches, we sometimes try way too hard to do many things when there a few things that we're made to do. We need to spend our precious resources (time, people, facilities, energy, and money) to do those things we were made to do and be. It's difficult to not spend energy on those areas/ministries/programs that will only be mediocre, at best, with lots and lots of attention. But sometimes we just have to eliminate our weaknesses in order to really focus on the few strengths that will help us grow. If we can get to that sweet spot as an organization, where our strengths are really humming, then we'll soar. Otherwise, we'll waste lots and lots of energy trying to maintain and improve the many mediocre things we feel that we have to maintain. Let's pick a few things and do them excellently!