I Went To A Show – I Mean A Basketball Game

Sometimes the show is as big or bigger than the event. That sounds a little cryptic, I know, but let me tell you about my experience the other night.

My son won tickets to a Toronto Raptors game and I was the lucky recipient of one of those tickets. The tickets weren’t just any tickets in the stands; they were one step up from the court.

You get to see a different game down there. It is the closest to the action that I have ever been at a basketball game … and probably ever will be.

To purchase the tickets would have cost about $300 each, and for that price you should catch a little sweat from the players.

We were behind the basket and for part of the game I was trying out the slo-mo feature on my iPhone. I really wanted to capture a dunk in slow motion or even a three pointer going in.

None of my attempts were spectacular but I got a couple of nice slow motion attacks to the basket.

But there was something different about being down low in the arena.

At other sporting events I’ve been to, people are there to watch the game. They come to see their team win.

But at a basketball game – well, at least for the people sitting down near the court – there is a little different focus.

It’s as much about the show as it is about the game. There is action going on everywhere, not just on the court …

… from the cheerleaders to the guys shooting t-shirts into the stands, to the super fan strutting his stuff on the sidelines.

… to the important people making appearances and getting the attention of the fans.

You could tell those who were important – or thought they were important – by the way they carried themselves and made themselves noticeable to others. They would stop and whisper something to the person they were with and look up into the crowd before they would move on to their seats.

There were also the four boys in front of us who seemed to be talking about something other than basketball for most of the game.

Then at half-time they left their seats. I didn’t even mind that they were not back in their seats for the start of the third quarter because the guy sitting directly in front of me had a pretty big head … with that removed, my sight lines greatly improved.

Just to prove that the show is as big a deal as the game, the four boys didn’t return to their seats until the 4th quarter.

I’m not sure what they were doing (though I have an idea), but one thing’s for sure, they weren’t watching the game in the stands.

Even when there was a time out – and in basketball there are plenty of time outs – the players don’t huddle together by the bench like in hockey.

No, the coach makes a big gesture of walking into the middle of the court and the players and entourage circle around him.

It’s quite a show.

Here’s the thing: When you attend church or a small group or even meet with God privately, it’s easy to be more focused on the show than the content. But it should be all about what God wants to deliver to you and about you responding back … then you’re in the game.

That’s Life!


Question: How do you stay focussed on the game and not the show? Leave your comments below.

The Father Daughter Game

She took me! My daughter took me to the game!

Karlie took me to a Toronto Raptors’ game; it was her Christmas present to me. We just went, having planned it for a time I had some business in the area.

I haven’t been to a Raptor’s game in a long time, so I wanted to go to a really good game. You always want your team to win, but especially when you attend a game live.

The trouble with this game was that the Raps were on a 5 game losing skid and their big star, DeMar DeRozan, was injured and not in the lineup.

The good news was they were playing a team that was well below them in the standing.

But my focus was on how my daughter was going to take in this game.

… The last time I took Karlie to a basketball game was in Edmonton. Now Edmonton has never had an NBA basketball team, but a minor league team was operating out of the city for a few years when we lived there.

I took a group of students from our church to a game and had an extra ticket.

I can’t remember the reason why, but I brought Karlie along to the game … she was three.

I’m not sure what I was expecting – an instant love for the game? an ability to understand the intricacies of the play? a keen interest in the players’ skills?

But what Karlie zeroed in on was the team mascot. Though we were sitting way high up in the stands, this fuzzy, energetic animal captured her attention.

I don’t think Karlie watched the game; she just kept her eye on that mascot.

When the game was over, she didn’t want to leave. She wanted to stay. I couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t want to get going – the game was not a big hit for her. Then she started pointing right at the mascot.

I realized that this event wouldn’t end well without us at least trying to see the mascot.

We headed down to the floor level, and I maneuvered us over to where the mascot was giving high fives to all the kids swarming around him.

We got close but then he turned and started walking away from us. I thought we had missed our chance for Karlie to  get up close with the star of the game.

Just then the mascot stopped. He turned around, looked right at Karlie, got down on one knee and put out his arms.

That was all the invitation Karlie needed; she ran to him and got engulfed in his fur.

That was the highlight; we could go home.

This time around for Karlie, it was all about the skill, the plays and the intricacies of the game – not the mascot … oh, how 24 years changes things.

Here’s the thing: We are supposed to grow in all areas of our life as we get older. To stay the same in an area doesn’t make sense and really only stunts us. Be sure you are still growing in your relationship with God. Don’t be stunted spiritually.

That’s Life!


Question: What area of your life have you seen growth in over the last five years? Leave your comments below.