Faith Column: Humility and hoops
There are many places we can turn to find lessons in life and faith, including the sport of basketball. Yes, basketball. As the coach of the Hayden Boys Basketball team, I see many teaching opportunities every day. There are plenty of legitimate and cliché lessons in basketball like adversity, hard work and sacrifice. But one of the most important lessons we learn is humility.
Basketball is one of my favorite sports, but it can be downright painful to watch the NBA. The sport appears to be little more than highly paid, selfish individuals who just happen to be stuck in a team sport. This has translated it on a much lesser level to college basketball, largely in part to the “one and done” theory. There is a lot of taking shots from all over the court, much of the time after the ball hasn’t even been passed to anyone. In the NBA, NCAA, and high school alike, we fawn over the game’s high scorer. It’s fun to see how many points Steph Curry or Russell Westbrook score every night and how many long-range three-point shots they made. Scoring a ton of points at any level takes practice and skill, and to think otherwise would do an injustice to those players.
How often, though, do we see the “SportsCenter” lead-in tell us who had the most assists for the night? Not very often. There isn’t much glory tied to making a great pass to a fella who ends up scoring a game winner. This is where humility comes into the discussion. Praise will often be rained down on the player with the winning shot, but what happens to the player who made the pass? That player has to understand the importance of helping the team by understanding his/her role. They have to be humble and know that just because they aren’t the center of praise at the time, they still play a huge role in the success of the team. We don’t need praise for the things we do behind the scenes if we exhibit humility.
The lesson of humility carries over into our lives and our faith. The most humble person to every live? It’s a no-brainer, it was our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was above nothing, but descended below everything to save us, and He asked for nothing in return. He could’ve demanded recognition for the things He did, but He did not. His actions serve as an example to the rest of us, in that we need to be ready to lead in assists without needing recognition. We can assist in many different ways, like taking meals to families with ill members, visiting those who are in need of friends, and being there to pick up others when they fall. At this time of year it seems easier to be charitable, as we are about to celebrate the birth of our Redeemer. Leading in assists, however, needs to be a 12-month effort.
Gerard GeisGerard Geis
Member, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsMember, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsMember, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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