The city held a Summer Camp hosting kids from 4 years to high school. A full schedule of activities ran from 9 AM – 3 PM, Monday through Friday. The San Diego Union-Tribune photograph snapped a picture of a 7 year old cutie standing before a basketball hoop, round-ball in hand, taking her turn before three older boys. She was the focus of determination: head raised, eyes drilled above, her little tongue extended as a help. She intended to make a shot during a game called “Knockout.”
I don’t know if she got the ball TO the standardized hoop, let alone IN the hoop. But her eyes and mouth and tongue and grip on the ball told us that she intended to. As a 7 year old, she could, and probably did fail, but not from lack of effort.
While a 7 year old may not make that basket, no mortal will ever grow into the colossal Christ-likeness he demands. But we need the concentrated effort that TRIES! The look of commitment fixed on Jesus, task in hand, totally involved in the effort.
The little girl may have had but one chance to continue competing in the game. But Jesus gives every intentional believer repeated attempts to at least get closer to Christ-likeness. Most importantly, he urges us to never let failure keep us from making another effort.