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Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Thursday, January 21

“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth.” — Psalm 121:2

The Unforeseen Blessing of a Backboard

The game of basketball was invented in 1891, but it wasn’t until much later that backboards were added to the goals. The first basketball hoops were literally baskets. Large fruit baskets were typically hung from the railing of a gymnasium’s upper gallery, where spectators would cheer on their teams. It wasn’t unusual for opposing fans seated in this area to reach over the railing and block shots from going in the basket! In order to both stop this and avoid excluding the fans, someone eventually came up with the solution of putting a board behind the goal.

A serendipitous byproduct of this solution was that a backboard actually made it much easier for players to score goals. Perfect aim into the basket was no longer necessary. The ball could now bounce into the basket off the board from whatever angle the player shot. This helpful dimension to the game did not occur to anyone until after the backboard was added.

Change can be tough. Most of us resist it, preferring to stick with the status quo. But it’s a funny thing: In life, the changes we often need to make in order to address the problems we face come with wonderful, unanticipated fringe benefits. We would have missed out on these perks if we didn’t make the change.

Is there a positive change you sense you might need to make today? Psalm 121:2 says, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth.” Ask God to help you make the change. You just might be surprised at the extra blessings waiting for you.

— Ryan Giffin, Lead Pastor of Village Community Church, Kansas City, Kan.

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