Simple rules, really.
Imitation is the name of the game.
They make a basket.
Your goal, then, is to make the same basket in the same manner in which the person before you did it:
Backwards at the free throw line.
Off the backboard at the base line.
Left handed 3-pointer.
From behind the basket. Up & over.
The list goes on. Because the conventional rules of basketball need not apply.
In a normal game, the person calling the shots goes back and forth with momentum. You may get the first “H” – but eventually they miss, giving you an opportunity to brand them with a letter, “H” or “O” or “R”. Then, you hit a cold streak. It goes back to them. “O” then “R”. You may choose defense as your offense, making shots you KNOW are their weakness. They may choose offense, aggressively attacking their strengths and challenging you to follow. Game continues until there is a winner and a loser.
There’s no way most of us would be doing anything other than attempting his made shots. Sure, it’d be great to do some off-the-cuff shot and see if it would trip him up. But for the majority of us, the game would be over in less than 10 copied shots.
Spiritually, it works the same way. Jesus invites us to play H-O-R-S-E with him. He beckons us to follow his lead. He illustrates for us the manner in which to succeed. He doesn’t make mistakes, so we are left to copy what he demonstrates.
The best part?
He doesn’t count it against us when we lose. But instead of racking up letters, playing with him is a perpetual game to which there is no end, this side of eternity.
With every missed shot is an opportunity for a do-over.
With every failed imitation, he graciously offers us the ball and beckons us do it again.
Our success is not in beating Him, but becoming masters at mimicking his moves. Our success is in playing to win… regardless of how many times we have failed.
That’s why this poster was so influential to me. Trusted shots were missed… but that doesn’t mean he stopped taking them.
We all fall short. But, the only real loss is when we stop playing.