Sunday, January 14, 2018
Duke Basketball and God's Presence
One of our family's favorite activities through the years has been watching Duke University play basketball. Mike graduated from Duke Divinity School in 1976, so we have a personal interest in the team.
We watched many years of memorable games including national championships in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2011, and 2015.
After their championship in 2015, I heard an interview with Coach Mike Krzyzewski. The reporter asked the coach to compare winning this fifth title. He replied:
"I can't compare one title with another. All of them are great. The one you're in the moment, the most current, you can feel it best. What we've tried to do all year is live in the moment. I told the players to live in the present and not worry about external expectations."
Live in the Moment
Coach Krzysewski taught his players the value of staying in the moment - in the present - so that nothing could distract them from the game they were playing. Schoolwork, relationships, a job, difficulties with a roommate, problems at home are a few of the circumstances that could distract a player's focus.
Stay in the game and live in the moment. It's advice that worked for his team, and it's advice that works for me.
I believe "Coach K" has good words that can be applied to those who desire to stay focused on God. Distractions are all around us. I find distractions to prayer even if I am sitting at my desk looking out the window. My mind can wander to what I need to do for the day or to a concern about another person or what happened the day before, and the list goes on.
Although I am not playing a basketball game, I am working at being present to God.
What helps me most when I find my thoughts wandering is to take a deep breath. I can then bring my focus back to God where I can hear God's voice.
Live in the moment. Live in the present. That's what "Coach K" said. It's good advice for his players and for those who desire to deepen their walk with God.
Questions for Reflection
1. What distractions come your way when you try to pray?
2. How are you inspired to stay focused on God when your mind wanders?
Prayer: We desire, God, to stay present to you and present to others in your name. Distractions swarm around us, taking our minds in many directions. Our desire is to stay in constant awareness of your presence. Guide and direct us in ways unique to each of us, that will help us stay grounded in you - and as "Coach K" says, "Live in the moment," Amen.