After practice on Thursday morning, one of our sixth grade players asked when they are going to get uniforms- sixth graders tend to be antsy about stuff like that. Our first game is still three week off but it was on my checklist. Soon afterwards, I saw Josh Bailey, our high school girls' coach, and asked him about taking our middle school girls' uniforms out of storage. I also told him we would need to start thinking about getting new ones as this would be the sixth year to wear them and middle school uniforms have a limited shelf life. Josh reminded me he had a set of uniforms we had worn on the high school level with our varsity girls that were not being used. I had a few minutes and we pulled them out and counted. I have twelve players and there were at least twelve of tops and bottoms in both white and blue along with shooting shirts which are warm-up tops. I told him I would run it by our returning players and get back to him. At lunch, I pulled aside Madison, Jenna, Sydney, and Lizeth and had a short meeting in the high school locker room and explained the situation. The main plus for going with the high school uniforms is that they are much nicer and we would have both a home and away set. The drawbacks? Our old uniforms only had two pieces plus a shooting shirt and the high school ones would mean four pieces plus a warm up top- two more things to lose/misplace, a huge issue in middle school. Then there is the deal that the high school ones were tailored for older, taller girls so there might be some out sized fittings. I left them to discuss and come back with an answer. As I suspected, they chose to go with the high school ones. I asked if they had tried them on- they had. I asked if they looked good- Sydney said they did. Sydney also noted the high school ones were much thicker and I explained that's a trademark of more expensive, better materials. We told the other girls yesterday morning and they too are excited- we'll be the best outfitted middle school in Houston. Now, we just have to play as good as we look!
We all want to look good, don't we? It carries over to almost every part of our lives. It starts when we are young but doesn't subside when we get older. We combine how we feel we look with how we feel about ourselves. There are numerous Biblical referrals to dressing up, often in terms of a bride for her husband. There are also warnings in James not to look down on those whose outfits are not stylish and Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 that the body is more than clothing. Many of the clothing references have to do the relationship we have with the Lord. Romans 13:14 says, Rather, clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation 19:8 speaks of the linen worn by the bride of the lamb
as being the righteous acts of the saints. Job, in his book, chapter 29 and verse 14, proclaims that I put on righteousness as my clothing. And Paul, in Galatians 3:27, puts it this way: for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. I like that last one- I had a good discussion with a friend about baptism tonight!
Do you know what I glean from those examples in contrasting our Christian clothing and basketball uniforms? Well, basketball uniforms are only worn for short periods of time. Come to think of it, we may struggle with that as believers as we deal with the taking off and the putting on of the Christian armor. Then there's the fact that as a basketball player, you wear different outfits home and away. Wait- we might have our church face and our world face, our church demeanor and our cultural demeanor so maybe that's not a good contrast either. I guess one thing about basketball uniforms is that they can identify who is with you and who is against you. Never mind- I just remembered Jesus in Matthew 7 gave this warning: Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Oh well, maybe basketball uniforms are simply basketball uniforms and not suitable for some deep spiritual conversation. But my girls' uniforms are different in one respect; they say Christian on the front. That puts the pressure right where it should fall- on the coach!
Applicable quote of the day:
"Just putting my uniform on keeps me going. Being able to get out there keeps me going. That's the best therapy."
Eric Davis (Major league baseball player)
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