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Monday, January 29, 2007

My personal trainer Michael Jordan


Imagine for a minute that your greatest dream is to become a star basketball player (substitute you biggest dream). Your young, talented and love the game of basketball. You are in your senior year in high school. You’ve done pretty well but honestly you’re not sure that you have the skills needed to excel beyond. You have raw talent and ability, but nobody has stepped up to really work with you one-on-one. No one has offered to mentor you or let you be their apprentice. So you just do the best you can. If you could just find that perfect trainer…

Now the dream gets more interesting. Let’s imagine that one day while you’re shooting around in the gym alone a tall man walks in and sits down high up in the bleachers. At first you notice him but don’t really pay him much attention. At least not until you realize that he’s just sitting there watching you shoot. You’re curious but unwilling to engage him. Maybe he’s just upset about something and wants to get away. But you wonder…

Eventually you finish up and head to the locker room for a shower. You’re clean and dressed now. You’re packing up your gym bag when that same man walks in. Your jaw drops. It couldn’t be. It’s Michael Jordan! Arguably the best basketball player in the history of the game!

Jordan says hi and introduces himself to you (as if he needed an introduction). He says he enjoyed watching you practice. He says that he’s been to all of your games this season just to watch you play. He adds that he believes you could be a great basketball player. You have the raw talent and heart to be what it takes to excel at every level. He’s serious. That’s why he’s there.

He then makes an offer that you just can’t believe. He offers to coach you one on one; to mentor you in the game of basketball. He wants to make you his apprentice and teach you everything he knows about the game.

He says there is only one catch. You have to meet him at the gym once a day to train. He won’t call you to remind you unless you ask him to (yeah, right. Forget to be at the gym with Jordan). You have to make this a priority. It’s up to you to rearrange your schedule to make this work. He’s available whenever you want to practice. His goal is not to help you master the drills. It’s to make you the best basketball player you can be.

Would you accept that offer?

I would in a heartbeat! I think you would too. But here’s the thing. We’ve already gotten that offer. Not from our favorite athlete or accomplished professional, but from God Himself. He’s offered to be your personal trainer in life. He sees the raw talent. He knows your gifts, abilities and passions. He knows how to make you become the kind of person that would naturally do what Jesus would do if he were in your shoes. He's available 24/7. He’s eager to get started.

Here’s the catch. You have to meet with Him at least once a day to train. He won’t call you to remind him unless you ask him to. You have to make this a priority. It’s up to you to rearrange your schedule to make this work. He’s available whenever you want to train. His goal is not to help you master the disciplines. His goal is to make you like Jesus.

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." --John Mark, Mark 1:35, NIV