One of the greatest honors of my basketball career was being invited to perform my “Enthusiastic Spintacular Basketball Show” during a half-time show at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. I have been invited to perform at many NBA games throughout my thirty years of spinning, dribbling, and juggling basketballs, but the degree of enthusiasm and energy rushing through this arena was unbelievable. A crowd of over 20,000 people had assembled to watch Lebron James lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to victory.
On this particular night, I was a bit tired, as I had been traveling nonstop, performing across the country. I had been given six minutes to get on the floor, do my show, and then get off the floor. The Cavs have a very strict time schedule, so the pressure was on. Spurred on by the cheers of the crowd, my adrenaline was pumping.
The first few minutes of the show were flawless. I came to the very end of my performance where I spin ten basketballs at one time. I had just enough time left to sit down on the floor, put on my straps, and spin all ten basketballs.
I spun the first ball, then the second, third, and fourth…the crowd was pumped. I was on my way. Then, out of nowhere, I dropped it. Right there in front of 20,000 people, I messed up. I was devastated. With their strict schedule, I knew my time was up. I might as well start packing up the basketballs and clear the floor. As I was processing what to do, the announcer came over the loudspeaker and said the most beautiful words: “Let’s give her another chance!” The crowd went wild.
My helpers on the court quickly gathered my basketballs, and I started over. This time I successfully spun all ten basketballs. Praise the Lord! The crowd thundered with my success. What an amazing feeling to finish that six-minute show successfully.
I will never forget the pressure I was under, the focus I needed, and the perseverance I experienced that night. After my successful second chance, my helpers and I gathered up my equipment, and I went back to the locker room. I sat there with tears streaming down my cheeks as I reflected on how that night had gone. I can’t tell you in words how grateful I was for that second chance to get it right and finish what I had come to do.
As I sat there in that locker room, I began to think about how God is a God of second chances. He is always ready to help us in our weaknesses and cheer us on to the finish line. Whether we’ve messed up or others have knocked us down, God is by our side, giving us opportunity after opportunity to try again. How amazing.
I relive that moment often. It was a very positive experience, even though I failed. I mean, I literally dropped the ball in front of 20,000 people! Many people would focus on the failure, but not me. I choose instead to focus on the fact that I finished. I celebrate the truth that I didn’t quit, even when things didn’t go as planned. That evening was a success, despite that moment of disappointment.
Life happens. It’s a given—there will be times when we will drop the ball; we will fail in our attempts at righteous living; we will sin. But we can find comfort in the fact that God is a God of second, third, fourth, and even fifth chances. Never give up. Ever. Keep pressing in to God. Remember 1 John 1:9. Confess your sin and acknowledge your need for Him to help you move forward. He will pick you up, forgive you, and lead you to victory. Nothing is impossible for God.
“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV).
Written by Tanya Crevier
Photo by Poodar Chu