Last week’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED told about the Dallas Mavericks arriving in Miami in the late afternoon, two days prior to Game 1 of their Finals series with the Heat. All of the Mavs scattered to various restaurants for supper—all except one. Dirk Nowitzki headed over to Miami’s American Airlines Center… to practice shooting.
This is Dirk’s habit. Hour… after hour… after hour, Dirk Nowitzki, practices shooting the basketball. Last night, against Miami, Dirk was one of twelve shooting in the first half. He was, however, five of six in the fourth quarter and finished with 21 points, leading Dallas to their first world championship.
I think Dirk’s shooting was emblematic of his team.
There have been other years when Dallas had more talent and seemed more likely win championships. Dallas has suffered some devastating playoff losses, enough to crush a team and discourage it from ever hoping to win a title. Yet, Dirk kept shooting and the Mavs kept trying.
Now, in the most unlikely of years, Dallas has won a title. Their leader, Dirk Nowitzki, is a champion.
Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs remind me that we, as Christians, will face many challenges and discouraging moments in our walk with God. Yet, as Paul writes, we press on: 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:12-14.) NIV 1984