by Bryan Wagner

If you are a basketball fan and you love to watch the power, elegance and grace of these blessed athletes, you were probably upset and turned off by what transpired in the past few months.

If you have been vacationing some where warm or you really don't care, the National Basketball Association has not played or for that matter, associated for the first half of the 1999 season.

Depending on who or what you believe, the bottom line is that the two sides could not reach an agreement on collective bargaining.

So what happens when you bring the ball to the playground and no one wants to play by your rules? You take your ball and leave, just like the owners did. The owners locked the players out. They said "if you don't like it, fine, don't play". The owners gave the players the choice to agree on what they want, or just not play.

The players on the other hand, wanted the owners to change their way of thinking and give in to "todays way" of doing things. They thought that they were collectively more important and powerful than the owners.

For days and weeks the two sides got together to try and hammer out their differences. Too often, the meetings were cut short, delayed and even cancelled. They just couldn't agree. Finally, they saw that they needed each other, so a mediator came in and worked on both sides until an agreement was reached (more so for the owners than the players). Now the NBA season is well under way and everyone is happy, so I think.

God is like an owner. In fact, he is our owner. He owns us. He owns the world and He made everything in it. God gives us rules to follow, but gives us the freedom to make our own choices. How often, in our lives, are we like the players? We want to live by our own rules and make our own choices. We think that everything revolves around us. We think things should be adjusted to "todays" standards. We want more power and control.
God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus to be our mediator. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men." God never would want to lock us out of heaven, he wants us to willingly come to His collective bargaining table. When we meet God on His terms we will win every time.C