Can’t Fake That Funk!

I don’t know about you but I am really, really excited about the NBA Draft this evening. This is the year that I will go in the draft. I am sure of it. For the last few years I have declared my self to be eligible for the draft. I don’t like basketball all that much. I love to watch “playoff basketball” and have been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers since I was a child. SHOWTIME! I think it would be cool to be drafted.

I never played basketball growing up outside of the random pick up game and usually I was a last minute replacement for someone that was minutely interested in the sport. I never dreamed of winning a playoff game with a last minute shot. I never dreamed of driving the lane and dunking over my opponent. I pretty much only pay attention to the NBA when someone does something naughty and gets caught or there is nothing else on TV.

A few years ago someone told me that the NBA had a form you could download and submit to declare your self eligible for the Draft. I went around and looked for it. I could not find it so I sent off a letter to 645 5th Ave. in New York. I waited and got no response.

The following year I did nothing to improve my game. In fact I got heavier, more out of shape. This did not deter me from sending out a letter to New York again declaring my eligibility for the Draft. The same result followed, nothing.

This year is different. I have lost a bunch of weight and gotten in to really great shape. I am thinking that I might be a surprise pick at 3 or 4. I loved visiting Salt Lake City and hope I go at the 3 spot. I could get used to the snow and cold. To play in the house that Malone and Stockton built would be awesome.

I hope I do not go at the 4 spot to Cleveland. I am not sure I have it in me to fill LeBron’s shoes. I do like grilled cheese (a lot!). Maybe downtown Cleveland would be a great fit for the both of us. If I dropped to the 14 spot and Houston I would be fine as well. My folks live outside of Houston and that would be cool if they could watch me play a little.

No matter who selects me this year I’ll need a little bit of medical attention. I did tear my rotator cuff last year and damaged the other side this year. So in order to use my big body to its full effect I’ll need awesome medical care and rehab.

I am approaching the NBA Draft in the same manner I am approaching my faith with assumptions, hope and blindly.

I feel entitled, privileged to have a relationship with God. I am entitled and privileged to be a minister. I have taken my call to ministry to be a call to a life devoid of hardship and sparse accountability. I have demanded that God provide lavishly and with ease those things I struggled for and against. I have justified this through my sacrifice. That sacrifice being me. This spiritually flabby, bloated near dead corpse barely praising God and nary raising a voice.

I am a casual fan of the Holy Spirit. I dig Jesus but only when he scores 40 and rebounds 15 in victory. I have no room for God, the Bobby Knight of divinely inspired creativity.

I have caught on fire here and there. I have spoken the spiritual language reserved for God and Internet videos that are mocked as folksy and insane. I have prayed at midnight in the woods searching for answers. I have offered up my life in service to God.

I play the occasional pick up game of faithful spiritual practice. All the while I search for something. I am not even sure what it is. I declare myself ready for that something. I put my name into that hat and expect that God is going to draw my name and march up to the platform and call out my name. I am going to be drafted in to a life of ease and the occasional mercy drama.

I have unrealistic expectations of God. I have unrealistic expectations of myself. I am spiritually lazy looking for a way out where I do not lose myself entirely. I want to escape the “ALL” part of “all-consuming.” I want to abandon my ways and keep them too.

I am on a fast break to the basket only I do not have the ball and my team is in the timeout huddle drawing up plays. I am a one man Globetrotting escapade of faith and futility. Yet, I persist. Fearful that if I stop God is going to catch up and the promised [threatened] transformation will come. Maybe being a Cavalier would not be so bad after all. They do have grilled cheese.

Ryan is a minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at Douglass Blvd. Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a B.A. in Religious Studies from California State University, Northridge and a M.Div. from Austin Seminary (TX). He delivers mad Esoteric Piracy. He likes to think of himself as a Royal Pain in the south end of a north bound donkey, Master of 3 of the 5 logical oceans, Beloved creation, 1985 Beer Chug Champion, Amateur Sock Puppeteer, Buckaroo, Reclaimer of lost treasures, Seeker of truth, Tamer of lions, Pugilist of toothless circus bears, Servant, & Tinker of convoluted ideas…

He is a co-founder of UNCO.  He is an enthusiastic dancer, when no one is looking. He has a deep admiration for Coke Zero. He is an avid runner and blogs at#RUNREVRUN. He dreams of one day riding mopeds across America in a Revival of Openness & Affirmation.