Are you ready?

  • Pete Johnson
Man with basketball shoes and a ball

Years of coaching have provided several interesting examples of things gone good and then things gone bad. Way back in 1990, in Tallahassee Florida, I had a young man who was part of our basketball team for a while who was very verbally confident regarding his basketball skills. Everyone around “T” was aware that he thought he was the best player in the gym. His ball-handling skills were beyond measure, that is according to “T”.  As a matter of fact, that was his self-given nickname, “Handles Paisley”.  “T’s” claim to fame was that he was ready at any given time to ball it up, against any takers.  I remember at the Tip Off Tournament in Ft. Walton Beach Florida, we were slated to face off against the previous year’s region champions, who were shoe-ins for a repeat title, Rocky Bayou Christian School – the Eagles. Arriving at the gym from our hotel, we sat together as a team at floor level on the bleachers watching the first quarter of the game before ours. Other teams, that were playing games later in the day, were coming in at that time as well. When the Eagles came through the double doors at the end of the gym, it almost seemed as though you could hear gasps as the superstars of Rocky Bayou came walking into the gym. As these megaliths walked past us, “T” wasted no time in exhibiting his “verbal basketball skills.”  He began questioning each player as they passed by us. Making sure that he made eye contact with each player, he would ask, “Are you Ready”? “Hey man, you ready?”, “You ready?”.

There was an obvious problem. The problem was not “T” asking if the Rocky Bayou players were ready, the problem was “T” was not ready. “T” couldn’t back up the skill level that he confidently professed to have, because quite frankly he didn’t have it. The so-called confidence was all talk. He knew all the big names in basketball, he had learned to talk like a basketball player, he had learned to dress like one, but it was clear to those on his team that he wasn’t what he claimed to be.

As I sat there on the bleachers, I was dumbfounded by his pseudo confidence. One of my players pointed out to me that on “T’s” brand-new Air Jordans he had written, what should have read as “Handles”, in permanent marker, read “Hadles”. Fortunately for “T”, no one, other than his teammates, caught on. As far as anyone else knew “Hadles” was his last name, not a misspelling of his self-proclaimed nickname “Handles”

The Bible talks about being ready:

  • Ready for the Lords return: Matthew 24:44 “Therefore you must also be ready, for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect

If you have not been born again, if there is no change in your life, you don’t have real faith, you’re not ready for eternity.

 Ready to share the Gospel with others: 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

 Are you confident in your faith, is it real enough to engage those around you?

Are YOU Ready