This afternoon, I went to a wedding which was a mini-reunion for me. The bride, Emily, played high school basketball for me. So did four of the bridesmaids, one of whose weddings I performed myself several years ago. Christa was one of the bridesmaids. One of the best shooters I have ever coached, she still holds the record for the highest score in a free throw game we use in practice. The following story, from 2-18-07, is about Christa but not because of her shooting ability.
I saw Christa yesterday at our high school basketball bi-district playoff games. Our boys' and girls' teams at Westbury Christian School are both one win from advancing to the Texas private school state tournament. Our boys aren't quite at the level of several years ago when they cracked the top 25 in some national polls but they are coming on strong. The girls, at 34-3, are a top fifty team nationally in my opinion but I'm biased, having coached about half of them in middle school. Christa is no stranger to basketball. She played for me for one year at WCS when I was the high school coach and finished her terrific career under Russell Carr. She went on to play collegiately, blending grittiness and a nice perimeter shooting touch. But we didn't talk much about basketball yesterday. You see, Christa is also very likely the finest female singer to graduate from our school. Her gift led her to audition for the latest installment of American Idol, which began airing several weeks ago. Rumor had it she made it to the final cut. I watched faithfully, especially during the tryouts which were conducted in San Antonio. She didn't make it. Christa told me she survived to the final two hundred out of the 11,000 initial hopefuls. She's not giving up. Christa has plans to move to Nashville and give it one more shot. Good for her. Dreams die hard but she's a realist and has her education to fall back, with her ultimate goal of becoming an RN. Unfortunately, if you watch American Idol, many contestants are poor judges of their talent level and their prospects. We all sound good when Mom is the judge.
Christa is a very good singer, a superior talent. Like I said, she could be the best ever Westbury Christian vocalist. Maybe she had an off day or a sore throat. Maybe the judges were in a foul mood or had qualified others with a similar sound to Christa's. It doesn't matter: she came up short. Very good wasn't good enough. Sort of the story of our spiritual lives, isn't it? Being the best person anyone knows won't stamp our passport into heaven. Jesus even stated in Mark 10:18 that, "No one is good- except God alone." In Romans 1:16, Paul spells out the the source of our hope: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of salvation of everyone who believes." I failed to see any mention of my own worthiness in that capsulized definition of the good news of Jesus Christ. Your goodness won't save you and mine can't save me. God loved us enough to sacrifice his only son; that's what matters when it comes to our souls. The judge that loves me that much casts the only vote. Save your text message ballot stuffing; this is one outcome determined on a higher level!
PS: Two nights ago, we had a school-wide talent show. One of my middle school players, Rachel, sang an unaccompanied solo, in the American Idol audition format. I was mesmerized; she has the voice of an angel! Christa may have some competition in the coming years. Maybe it's me. I just turn basketball players into brilliant musical performers!Applicable quote of the day:
"If your lifeguard duties were as good as your singing, alot of people would be drowning."
Simon Cowell (American Idol judge)
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