Heart Check

October 25, 2018  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

It was many years ago, but I remember it as if it was yesterday.

Before most good basketball players left college early for the NBA draft, the Duke Blue Devils won back-to-back championships in men’s basketball. The morning after the second championship, I drove to the campus bookstore in order to be one of the first to purchase commemorative T-shirts: one for me and several more for my parents and wife. A crowd was at the door of the store when I arrived, long before it was open for business. When I finally walked inside, I looked around and saw one shirt in particular I liked. I walked over to it, and as I got close to reaching out to pick it up, a little old lady literally ran into me, spun me around, grabbed the shirt, and shrieked, “It’s mine!” As if there was only one shirt in the entire store!

Neither of us were entitled to that shirt. In fact, we aren’t entitled to much in this life. Rather than searching to get what we think we deserve or trying to beat out others for a better position in this world, our God calls us to focus on helping others to experience the many gifts available to them in this life. We are called to serve instead of be served. Our mission is to sacrifice ourselves and what we desire on this earth for the Kingdom of God.

If we are willing to essentially assault someone to get to a T-shirt, what will we do when the stakes are higher? After my initial shock, I wasn’t really angry with that lady at Duke. After all, I would like to think that if she simply asked me for it I would have given it to her. At least, I hope I would have.

-Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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