A Moment

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The scores were tied at 107 with 4.5 seconds remaining in Game 1 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors at the NBA Finals. Cavs’ George Hill missed his free throw. JR Smith, his teammate, grabbed the ball in an offensive rebound but, to everyone’s shock, “Instead of going back up with the ball or kicking it out to a teammate to shoot, Smith dribbled the ball out as the shot clock expired.” [1] The Warriors won the game in overtime.
Once in overtime, the Warriors dispatched of the Cavs rather easily, taking a 1-0 series lead with a 124-114 victory Thursday. After the game, Smith told ESPN's Brian Windhorst that he indeed knew the score of the game, and that he dribbled the ball out because he thought the team was calling a timeout. [2]
No question, it was a costly mistake. It even generated a lot of online jokes, poking fun and insults at Smith. Surely, that moment would go down in NBA history. I think that for Smith, what was only less than 5 seconds—a mere moment—appears to be an eternity now. 

Moments like that are not always about a tie-breaking shot. As motivational speaker Amy Rees Anderson wrote in a blog article aptly titled, “Don’t Do Something Permanently Stupid Just Because You Are Temporarily Upset,”
Being in a bad situation and acting out only ends up making you feel worse in the end, never better. … And beyond the feelings of regret, you never know if the bridge you are burning today is the very bridge you will have to cross sometime in the future… But when you are dealing with a bad situation and you can actively choose to act in a way that shows the kind of person you are striving to be, then no matter how bad the circumstances are you can still walk away from them with your head held high feeling proud of how you behaved. And that is a pretty great feeling to have! [3]
What we do at that moment could spell the difference in our lives. That’s why it’s called “a defining moment.” King Solomon wrote,
Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,…
(Ecclesiastes 9:9-10b, The Message)
It could also spell the difference in other people’s lives. A word of encouragement. A pat in the back. A listening ear. We may think it’s just a short time we spent with others but it’s an investment worth making in their lives. “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry” (Proverbs 25:11, The Message).

Brothers and sisters, let us seize the moment!

[1] “JR Smith's blunder at the end of Game 1 amuses NBA Twitter” (1 June 2018), ESPN, retrieved from http://www.espn.com/.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Amy Ress Anderson (25 June 2012), “Don’t Do Something Permanently Stupid Just Because You Are Temporarily Upset,” Amy Rees Anderson, retrieved from http://www.amyreesanderson.com/.


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