By John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
The Philadelphia 76ers had a difficult time determining at which goal to shoot. On December 3, 2014, they had to replay the first 16 seconds because the 76ers were shooting at the wrong goal! Can you imagine that – a professional basketball team shooting for 16 seconds at the wrong goal?
One thing that might explain just a little bit is that their record for the year was 0-17. They hadn’t won a game all year. I can understand this record if they don’t know at which goal they needed to be shooting! Interestingly enough, they came back in that very game and beat the Timberwolves 85-77 to break that 0-17 start!
The only time I’ve see teams shoot at the wrong goal has been in Upward Basketball with elementary school teams. I think I did witness a Junior High game where it happened once. Before we are too hard on the Philadelphia 76ers, it is good to stop and ask how much time, effort and energy are we using at shooting at the wrong goals. What is really important in life? What do we want to accomplish in 2015? Is it really a worthy goal?
Athletic teams have different goals for a season. Some teams just want to win more then they lose. The big goal for some football programs is to win six games and qualify for a Bowl. Some programs set a goal of winning eight games in a season. Could you imagine Auburn or Alabama having a goal of winning only eight games? The last two years are indicative that both of them set a goal of winning the National Championship. They weren’t going to shoot at any other goal.
How big are the goals you set for 2015? Do you settle for mediocrity? Do you allow your business to just set a goal to “stay in business?” The most successful businesses are those who are willing to take the risk of setting a huge goal, then committing the resources to go for that goal.
Oftentimes we might set a goal just to be a little bit better than somebody in our peer group. I remember how one time I brought a report card home, and it wasn’t the very best. When my dad confronted me about that report card, my first response was, “well my report card was better than Jimmy Allen in my class.” My Dad taught me a great lesson – “don’t ever set your goals compared to what somebody else is doing. What does God want you to accomplish?”
At which basket are you shooting? Even the professional team was shooting at the wrong basket. You might have to replay a few days, but when you get the right basket you can be a winner – as the 76ers discovered.
The Apostle Paul summed up his life by stating his goal of, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” His life would shoot at the right goal by focusing on “this one thing, forgetting the past, reaching forward to what lies ahead, and pressing on toward the goal.” (Philippians 3:13, 14)
Remember – both goals look the same, but produce vastly different results. Don’t get confused or fooled.
Shooting at the right goal can end a losing streak!
John Ed’s blog posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory.
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