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Playing Yoda in Raquetball

“Beat you I will, hmmm…”

Everyone loves Yoda, perhaps the most popular Star Wars Character of all. Well, one of my “claims to fame” is that I played him in racquetball—and got whipped!

Actually, I played Dr. Kermit Nelson, an instructor/coach of mine in Big Sandy, TX. At the time, he was in his mid-60’s. He was short, wrinkled, and looked a bit like Yoda. I took his racquetball course in college and remember his challenge—“If you play me and win, I’ll buy you a frogurt.” I loved frozen yogurt so I was “in.” After all, how hard could it be for a 20 year old like me to beat an old man? I was on the basketball team, I worked out, I ran. This would be easy--right?!


The match is kind of a blur now, but I remember running, diving, slamming into walls, sliding across the floor leaving patches of my skin behind me, and dry heaving. I also remember Dr. Nelson standing pretty much in one place the entire time placing most of his shots 2” or less above the floor on the front wall. I don’t think he broke a sweat and finished me off in no time flat.

No frogurt. Instead…I had humble pie!

Humility is a funny thing. To some, it means seeing yourself as lowly--so low you could play handball against the low you have to look up to see low, you could walk upright under a pregnant ant and now disturb your low, OK, that's get the idea.

I'm not sure that's a biblical definition. In fact, I'm sure it's not.

Biblical humility is based on the example of Christ. who, "made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant...He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross...(Philippians 2:7a, 8b)."

Jesus didn't self promote, he served. He was obedient and sacrificial, not self-deprecating. Jesus didn't see himself as worse than everyone else. Instead, he saw Himself as serving everyone else. I believe humility is seeing yourself as equally loved by God with unique talents and abilities intended to serve others. It's seeing that the ground is level at the foot of the cross so that you are not better or worse than the rest of mankind. Instead, you're a child of God intended to honor Him by using what He's given you to add value to those around you.

Choosing to think this way is humility. It avoids the need for humiliation. It honors God. It might even earn you a frozen yogurt. Hey--it could happen!


Pastor Joel

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