High Goals and Heavy Balls

A story of basketball, never giving up and perseverance. An encouragement to prayer and endure patience.

The basketball goal looked extremely high to my son, Aiden as he stood underneath the hoop.  He watched his friends happily playing and shooting their balls into the goal, yet to his dismay all his attempts were futile. I gave him some pointers on throwing the ball and jumping, but my tips just added to his frustration. He angrily tossed his basketball in the grass and ran into the garage to retrieve his soccer ball.

It would have been easy for me to tell him that, it’s okay, just stick with soccermaybe basketball isn’t your thing. Yet, I knew that this experience would teach him a wonderful life lesson about perseverance. So, I ran over to him, sat him down in the grass and said, “Buddy, I know that the basketball goal is high and the ball is heavy, but if you practice you’ll get better.” He tried to give me excuses that he was no good or a loser, but I didn’t let him quit so easy. I already told him the Sam Mills story, so I knew a relevant basketball analogy would be more fitting. “Do you know who Michael Jordan is?” I asked. Aiden’s blue eyes lit up as he excitedly replied, “He’s the best basketball player ever!” “He certainly was,” I continued. “Did you know he struggled just like you once?” I asked. “Really?” Aiden asked quite surprised. “Yes, when Michael Jordan was in high school he tried out for the varsity high school basketball team, and was put on the junior varsity team instead.” I said. “That’s not too bad,” Aiden replied. “Well, maybe not, but his friends got picked for the Varsity team instead,” I explained. Aiden looked over at his friends still playing basketball. “I understand,” he said as he looked down at the grass. “You know what, Aiden?” I asked. “Yeah?” he replied in his moping voice. “Michael Jordan didn’t give up; he practiced harder and improved his technique. The next year he played Varsity, and then the Tarheels, then the Chicago Bulls and eventually he became known as Air Jordan, one of the best basketball players ever!” I explained. “Aren’t you glad Michael Jordan didn’t give up?” I asked him. “Yeah,” he quietly responded. “Now, let’s go play some basketball,” I concluded. I grabbed his basketball and stood up. We walked over to the goal and started shooting hoops. Aiden spent most of the afternoon trying to make a shot, and then he finally did. We all started cheering and high-fiving. I was excited he made a basket, but I was extremely proud that he never gave up. Fast forward to this year. Aiden kept practicing and now he happily plays with his friends and shoots hoops.

Are you struggling with something in your life, and you feel like quitting or giving up? Maybe it’s not basketball, but maybe you’re trying to have a baby, mend a broken relationship, lose weight or run a 5k. Whatever your circumstance, you are not alone. Similar to the encouragement that I give my son, God is with you when you’re struggling with high goals and heavy balls. It will take perseverance and prayer, and a lot of patience. Try reaching out to a friend and asking for prayer or encouragement. Just remember that you are not alone in your struggle. God loves you, and friends care about you. Don’t give up; you got this!

Matthew 7:9-12 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Philippians 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Friend, Are you struggling with something today. Comment below and I will be happy to pray for you. Want to keep it private? Just type unspoken. I will pray and God will know your need.


4 comments on “High Goals and Heavy Balls”

  1. Jen Busfield says:

    Love this story about perseverance. We’re working on that A LOT it seems in this house. “Never give up. I can do it!” is the mantra we’ve taken up — the kid (10 year old boy) and I both! Thank you for sharing this encouragement (and great parenting moment).

    1. Rachel says:

      Thanks! It’s ongoing in our house too.

  2. Kim says:

    Wow, I really needed to read this today. God just spoke to me through your post and I will now keep St what I was contemplating giving up on. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Rachel says:

      I love how God works! I’ll be praying for you.

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