Keller: Swindoll’s sports passion doesn’t compare to his calling

Published 11:45 pm Friday, November 14, 2014

As the basketball season is now under way, many players dream of one day playing for big money in the National Basketball Association. Some have no other plans in life if their dream doesn’t materialize.

I am reminded of a story told by one of my favorite Christian writers and evangelists, “Chuck” Swindoll.

While growing up in Texas, he, too, had the dream of playing professional basketball. In junior high, he made the junior varsity team and, according to him, was improving rapidly.

His dad worked at a machine shop and made him an iron hoop, which he attached to the garage. He practiced every day with an old worn-out rubber ball. He just knew one day every college in America would be seeking his services on the basketball court.

His wish for the coming Christmas was to have one thing only — a new basketball.

He began to drop hints to his mom about his desire to get a new basketball.

One evening before Christmas, he saw a box beneath the Christmas tree, correctly shaped to possibly hold a basketball.

Much to his surprise (and I’m sure disappointment) as he tore the wrapping off and opened the box, it was a world globe. As “Chuck” shares in his story — What a thrill!

That afternoon was filled with the joy of locating geographical spots on the globe as his mother called out … Singapore, Montreal, New Zealand, Moscow, etc.

That was many years ago. Today, he still admits he likes basketball, but thanks God for his mother’s wisdom. As an ambassador for Christ, he is more excited about hope on the globe, instead of a passion for putting a ball through a hoop.

“Chuck” has been a force in the world, sharing about a Savior who came to save people from their sins.

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