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2 Things We Can Learn From Ron Baker

If you’re a Wichita State men’s basketball fan, the past couple weeks have been nail biting, edge of your seat suspense.

A number of big-money, better-scenery-than-Kansas, head coaching jobs were "wooing" coach Marshall away. And the 2 best returning players on last year’s team were being attracted by the lifestyle of the NBA.

In the end, all 3 decided to stay at Wichita State, (which bodes well for another run at a National Championship) but the decisions to do so were not void of drama.

One of those who decided to stay was red-shirt senior Ron Baker, who, through hard work and dedication, realized his dream of playing Division 1 basketball. When he graduated from a small high school in western Kansas (where there’s more cows than people) not a single Division 1 school recruited him. Yet after making the team as a non-scholarship walk-on at WSU, he is now considered by man sports journalists to be a high second round draft pick in the NBA.

So what can we learn from his story? That dreams do come true? That you can do anything if you set your mind to it? That sheer determination always produces dividends? I don’t think so. I can give you a hundred examples of similar people who didn’t get the same results. What I think we can learn from Ron Baker is 2 things:

1. Our time is running out

Everybody is 3 minutes closer to death after reading this. It’s a harsh, brunt reality--that I wish wasn’t true--but it doesn’t make it any less true.

The bible talks about our brief lives a number of times, including Psalms 144:4 where the psalmist records, “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.”

James reminds us in 4:14 that, “You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

Ron’s senior season is rapidly drawing near, and just like him, your window of opportunity might be getting ready to close.

2. There will always be the next big thing

Good things will never go away--however, because there are so many good, things, you might be missing out on something great.

I’m not arguing that the NBA is good, and college is great, but what I am saying is, sometimes you miss the forest by looking at some really neat trees. In other words, everything in life will seem urgent unless you are laser focused on what you want your end goal to be.

The Message version of Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are.”

A guy named Solomon (who is arguably the wisest man to ever live) wrote something way more succinctly in Proverbs 4:27. He said, “Don’t get sidetracked...”

It's interesting because when asked about his decision to return for his senior season Baker said, “The reality is, I felt like any decision I made was going to be a good one. I think I’ll eventually be successful at the next level, but with what we have coming in and the people we have returning, next season has the potential to be very special.”

The bottom line is this: your current season has the potential to be very special.

I think we need to remember that God has something great for you to do--He wants you to be part of His redemptive story. I’m convinced that the devil doesn’t want to destroy you with soul crushing bad things (i.e. drugs, pornography, abuse, etc) as much as he wants to distract you with good things (sports, TV, your kids, etc).

You should constantly be asking yourself, “What do I need to focus my energy on before my time is up?”