Too Long in the Huddle

Story of the Day for Saturday January 7, 2012

Too Long In The Huddle

                 The words of the wise are like goads . . .  

                                                     Ecclesiastes 12:11

University of Miami head coach, Leonard Hamilton, called a time-out with sixteen seconds left in the basketball game. They were leading the Pittsburgh Panthers, 84-82, but Hamilton wanted to give his team instructions on how to preserve their lead in the final seconds.

The official at the scorer’s table sounded the horn to signal there were fifteen seconds left in the time out.  Instead of sending his team back on the floor, Hamilton kept his team huddled up as he shouted directions to his team.

Fifteen seconds later, the horn sounded again, signaling that the timeout was over. A Pitt player was handed the ball, but stood there, confused, as he waited for Miami to take to the court. Panther coach, Paul Evans, screamed at his team to run the play.

Pitt guard, Jerry McCullough took the inbound pass and went in for an uncontested layup. The stunned Miami team took to the floor and McCullough quickly stole the ball, passed to his teammate, Antoine Jones, who drove the lane for the winning basket.

 

Meetings and planning are vital. But sometimes we spend too much time in the huddle.

I have a friend who was a member of a church council. He was frustrated. For thirteen years they discussed building an addition to the church entryway. The hammers have yet to sound, but they love to meet each month to talk and plan.

 

I like to talk politics with a friend. We bemoan the state of the union, and are a little miffed that the President of the United States refuses to call us, so we can tell him how to solve the nation’s problems.

My friend’s wife listened to our griping and said, “If you don’t like what’s happening in government, why don’t you do something about it?”

Well, she’s obviously naïve. We’re political philosophers, for Pete’s sake! We use our searing intellects to provide insightful analysis about the political landscape. We don’t want to do anything; we just want to talk about it.

 

The Bible takes a more alarming approach to education. The spiritually wise, it says, wield goads. A goad is a sharp, pointy stick. You use it to poke slow-moving animals in the rump when you want to inspire them to greater things.

Learning is not an end in itself. The words of Scripture are goads – pointy sticks aimed at our behinds – to quickly kindle in us an interest in moving.

The goal of learning is not just to stuff our heads with biblical information. We learn in order that we may adore God, trust in his mercy, and run a tuna casserole over to a sick neighbor.

 

We huddle up in order to run the next play.

                                                  (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)