As many of you know, I love basketball. I have played it ever since I can remember, it has always been a part of my life. From Rec. basketball, to AAU, to highschool, to just watching my Lakers play on the T.V. I have thought alot about the game of basketball and tried to see how it applies to the Gospel, so hear it goes.
In the sports world you hear the cliche alot that "defense wins championships" and that good defense leads to good offense. Many people say "well that is true but if you can't score a point you can't win" that as well is true, you need to have a good balanced attack. But like in the picture above, if you are able to get the other team to make turnovers it leads to easy lay-ups on the other end. No matter how bad of an offense you have, lay-ups should be a guarantee. It is all set up by the defense. Too many times in basketball though, people get in the mind set of, we will save our energy on defense so that we will have more energy on offense, or we will just out shoot them. Many times my highschool team just tried to get into a shoot out, and we played casual on defense. While this worked sometimes, most of the time we were playing from behind, and it usually ended in defeat. Another important thing to remember in the game of basketball is that it is a team sport and no one man can do it on his own. He must rely on his teamates to help him out when he needs them. All of this requires practice and development of different fundamentals, basketball is game of many elements, on defense you need to be able to develop good communication, court position, good defensive stance, hand placement, boxing out, and many other things. Without all of these key elements you won't be effective. Now to compare it to the gospel
In the game of life, we are playing against a high powered offensive enemy. He continually is attacking us trying to break us down, and get past our defense's. If we are lazy, or not paying attention, he will quickly gain a lead on us, and when he does the road to victory the road back is very difficult. The key to this life is to make sure we build up and maintain a steady defense, to stop the enemys attacks. We build our defense by reading the scriptures, saying our prayers, going to church, hanging out with good friends, avoiding temptaions. The adversary has many trick plays, which prove effective if we are not paying attention. As in basketball, this is a team effort, we cannot do it by ourselves. We must rely on our teamates for help, these are our parents, our church leaders, our friends. If we think that we can do it all by ourselves we will lose the battle really quick.
One of my favorite chapters in the bible is Ephesians 6, when it talks about the armor of god: loins girt about with truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the prepartation of the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, the spirit of god. These truly are our defensive and one offensive tool. But the offensive tool of the sword of the spirit cannot be used unless we have obtained the other defensive pieces of the armor. We must obtain all of them, and this takes prepartion.
For those who have obtained a good defense to where the adversarys moves are ineffective, to where he can't score, offense comes easily. when we are worthy servants of our Heavenly Father, we bring to pass much righteousness which is our way of "scoring". Just like in basketball though, when you gain a lead you cannot let up, we must continue to build a lead and not let the adversary back in the game. If we give him the opportunity he will capitalize.
Our goal in life is to overcome and beat the enemy, to come off victorious. This does require that we score some points along the way, but unless we have a good defense we will never be able to win this battle.
So it is true in this game, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS