"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Life AFTER the Game?

For the past few days, Basketball conversation has been seasoned with LeBron James, but have you ever heard of Ray Williams? If you answer “no”, don’t be concerned. You join about 75% of America who doesn’t have a clue! Ray Williams was a NBA (National Basketball Association) star in the 1970s and 1980s. He played for six teams during his career, but his most impressive feats was serving as Captain for the New York Knicks and Guard for the Boston Celtics 1985 NBA Finals team. His name may not ring out with today’s fans, but “Sugar Ray” averaged 20 points a game during his career, and he was even compared to the great Walt Frazier!

Where is Sugar Ray” Williams now? Every night Williams locks the doors of his home; a broken-down 1992 Buick, rusting on a back street where he ran out of everything. Williams is homeless! Williams’ lack of success is not due to drugs, alcohol, or gambling. He hasn’t even been arrested for any charges! His homelessness just kind of happened!

How did Williams move from the Five Star Hotels on the road, elite company with Larry Bird, and fame and popularity to a house on wheels? Williams made over $2 million a year when he was in the league (An UNEBELIEVABLE salary for professional athletes during the 70’s and 80’s), but he never prepared for the day when he would no longer be paid to dribble a basketball. When he retired, Williams invested in a few business opportunities, but all of those investments went south, and Williams was left with nothing! I guess we could blame his coaches, teachers, and mentors for not setting a better example. But regardless which way our sympathies run, the biggest fault was his own! He didn’t realize there was more to life than basketball!

Even though Williams’ legacy fell apart, his mistakes teach us valuable lessons. There is much more to life than our jobs, our homes, and our everyday concerns. What looks so great in the PRESENT may or may not help us in the FUTURE! The lives we live today prepare us for tomorrow! How should we prepare? Jesus gives us the key to success when he says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

Where is your treasure? Ask Ray Williams where his was, and he will tell you where he WISHES it would have been! Prepare for “Life AFTER the Game!” It’s the only preparation that really matters!