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Following God regardless of Age

I am deeply grateful that after Sukkot our basketball team w on the championship league for the third time in Division One of the Hong Kong Church Friendship Cup Competition on October 23.

Basketball is my passion. Having the chance to play that day, I was so excited that I started packing for the 9pm match from 3pm and got to the venue two hours earlier. The security guard thought that I was either a referee or a coach as he found it hard to believe I am a player at my age.

Turning 68 this week, I was the eldest player. Yet I still enjoy the game very much. There are 50 years between me and the youngest member. To me, playing basketball is the same as following God — age matters not. Instead when we are longing, passionate and persistent, we can look out for each other and go forward in the same court.

Looking back, I first played basketball when I was pastoring a church in Vancouver. At the age of 40, I was eager to reach out to youngsters. Therefore, I did self-learning. Twenty-eight years down the line, I have gradually realized that basketball is a sport in line with the truth of God. The body has to be upright in order to make an accurate shot and the feet have to be down to earth in order to gain strength.

A basketball team consists of five members and it’s like the team of “five-fold ministry”. In many ball games, such as tennis and table tennis, the coach is not allowed to talk alongside. However, the basketball coach is like the sixth member outside the court, who keeps reminding the players and devising strategies. His role is like that of the Holy Spirit. As I play, I realize more and more that this kind of sport resonates with God’s mind. It is so even with the rules. For instance, a player has the grace to continue in the match after breaking the rules. But he will be disqualified after five fouls. It’s like God’s grace which should not be abused.

Playing basketball is never about winning to me, but I aim to win over relationships. While trying my best to play, it’s even more fulfilling to see my spiritual children interact with each other and build up relationships, like when they were playing with other young people from branch churches in the “One Ball One Heart Conference”! C-Mo remarks that there are two things I love, “One round and one square” – basketball is round while the bible is square. Both are wonderful gifts from God.

Peter, my disciple has come to Hong Kong from Taipei to spend some time with us. He has also played basketball with me. I encourage him that as a senior pastor, he should gather young people together to participate in sports, especially Mark, his disciple, who used to be a major player in our team since he was 24. He happened to be with us in this championship competition as well. It’s time that they pick up the game again!

Dear brothers and sisters, let’s engage in sports together to build up good relationships and health!

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