Friday, June 12, 2015

The Stranger


We are in full swing with basketball camps! Our director, Trey Austin, often makes references to NBA player in the sessions with the older kids who know Lebron, Steph Curry, Kobe, Tim Duncan, etc. The following is about a very famous NBA star who walked into my class full of boys who know basketball and none of them knew who he was, even after I told them. This is from February 1, 2009. (PS: It's Jack Sikma!)

He walked into my seventh period sophomore Bible class just as we finished grading a quiz on Friday. The man was with Odilo Villareal, who is part of our WCS admissions department team. I greeted the pair and briefly explained what we were doing and they ducked out to continue their tour of our school. I asked my students, primarily the young men who follow basketball closely, if they knew who the guest on our campus was. None of them had any idea. I added that he had a basketball offensive move named after him but that apparently rang no bells either. I further added that he played in All-Star games (seven) and his team won an NBA championship but those clues did not matter. I take it that it wouldn't have made a difference even if I pointed out he led the league in free throw percentage or that he scored almost 18,000 points in his professional career. When I told my students his name, I'm still not sure any recognized it. He retired before they were born so in a sense, he does not exist in their concept of round ball. He was born too early or they were born too late.

I often ask my middle school students if they think their future spouse is sitting in the same class with them. Many of them gag- remember, they are barely teens- but they all deny it could be possible. It's not likely but not totally out of the question. The truth is, they aren't looking for someone that looks amazingly like a thirteen year old boy or girl. The Israelites of Jesus' day were looking for the messiah but many saw no characteristics in the carpenter from Nazareth that would match their checklist. We have quite a few famous people, primarily athletes, visit our school. If I had told my students a former All-Star would be in our midst, they would have been on the lookout but except for his height, our visitor could have walked our halls unnoticed. Soon after his resurrection, Jesus met Mary Magdalene, who failed to recognize her Savior. In John 20:15, the Lord asks the former demon-possessed woman, "Who is it you are looking for?" Mary's eyes were opened when Jesus spoke her name and she returned to the other disciples, exclaiming, "I have seen the Lord!" Sometimes our eyes need to be opened like Mary's were, in a non-supernatural way. Her excuse might have been grief. My student's failure to recognize the tall stranger in my room was based on lack of knowledge. But we all have those we need to open our eyes to in the orbits of our existence; the hurting, the lonely, the lost. They are among us and we walk by. Someday, we ourselves will be the ones with the need to be seen. On that day, I pray I will be recognized.

Applicable quote of the day:
It stirs up envy, fame does. People feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you - and it won't hurt your feelings - like it's happening to your clothing.
Marilyn Monroe

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

http://www.hawleybooks.com/
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

2 comments:

Laurie said...

So who was the tall stranger?

karmencarr said...

hay.coach!!

like the blog;and the quote.

who was the tall stranger?