Monday, October 03, 2016

Suiting Up With Kobe and LeBron

If you played basketball for me, you know that I am a traditionalist. I'm not talking about playing styles or offensive and defensive trends but in the manner we dress ourselves for practice. Our practice uniform is well, uniform. With the kids I coach now, the requirements are white or grey t-shirt with sleeves to elbows, blue adidas reversible, WCS PE shorts or old WCS varsity practice shorts. As do many middle school teams, we wear gear handed down from our varsity squad which in our case, is pretty nice. I don't require a certain shoe- too expensive. There is one other area in which I'm a stickler: SOCKS. They will be white. I really don't have anything against other hued socks except when the players on teams play in socks that don't match from one kid to the next, with no apparent nod to team or school colors. One player has on red, another green, a third pink, and so on. I wouldn't mind if they matched the uniforms and were all the same but that isn't typically the case. I guess I'm just old fashioned. 

But, maybe I'm loosening up just a bit. Beginning with our initial meeting in August, I have declared the last practice time of the week to be Free Socks Friday. That means the girls can wear whatever socks they like. Some still wear white, apparently forgetting they have options, but most wear the alternatives. Being a players' coach, or so I like to believe, I decided to get in on the fun. There is a lovely lady in our congregation named Shirley. She loved my presentation on my Vietnam missions, especially the photos of the kids. You see, Shirley's beloved husband died fighting there and she's grown attached through my pictures. Shirley saves a seat for me for our Wednesday night Bible studies and sometimes brings me little gifts. About a year ago, she saw some basketball socks, in a gas station of all places, and thought of me. Undoubtedly, one of the most unusual presents I've ever received! (The LeBron socks are actually retro, showing him as a member of the Miami Heat!) To stay true to the spirit of our new weekly holiday, which happily coincides with Capri Sun Day, I'm wearing the socks, shown above, on Fridays. I've heard some good compliments, mostly from boys. Sometimes, you just have to hop on the trend train before it runs over you!

Do socks matter? For that matter, do shoes matter? I've seen boys and girls in Haiti and Vietnam playing barefoot on surfaces which leave the rest of us raw in a minute or less. Truthfully, in basketball, it's footwork that is essential not footwear. The same is true in Scripture. Jesus' feet were washed and anointed at least twice by women in Biblical accounts, and He famously washed the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper. It's what's in the socks and shoes that count, not the perishable materials that temporarily house our feet, what passes in this transient world as fashion. In all honesty, I've yet to see a depiction of our Savior wearing socks, or NIKES come to think of it. But don't worry- He still left some amazing footprints for us to follow.

Applicable quote of the day:
I'll tell you one thing you can't do: you can't put your shoes on, then your socks on. 
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God bless,
Luke 18:1
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