We all stand on common ground when it comes to making bad choices and terrible decisions but this does not have to be the end of our story. Missing the mark is common when we give our emotions the power to guide and lead us and we can make a mess out of things in a hurry. However, there is a huge difference between allowing our mistakes to keep us in the bondage of hopelessness and believing that he can save and deliver us.
Since many of our problems come from obeying our carnal influences, the Lord declares that our true success depends on how much we are willing to surrender our desires, reach out to him by faith, and live our life his way. Of all the decisions we will make in our lifetime, there is no better resolution than to walk with our Savior and obey his voice. Proverbs 3:3-4 says, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
For those who are familiar with professional basketball, I’m sure you will remember a player named Vinny Baker. He was a 6’11” power forward and a top 10 draft pick in 1993. In his first five years he averaged around 20 points per game and in 1999, he signed a seven year, $86 million contract with the Seattle Supersonics.
You would think this would be the ultimate summit for someone who had worked so hard but in this case, there was also another type of high: the one that comes from drugs and alcohol. While being influenced by his friends and other players he started smoking pot and drinking as the life of a professional athlete involves a lot of opportunities to party. He was getting wasted before games and before long, he was even drinking during games.
One night he was so stoned that he wondered if he could even function but somehow ended up scoring 41 points. Eventually, the partying began to take its toll on his mental and physical health and after being traded a few times he was finally out of the league in 2006.
After struggling with several rehab failures, Vin started going to a Bible study. His lifestyle had changed and one day as he was crying out to God, he felt an urgency to call his old boss who owned the Seattle team. During a meeting with Howard Schultz, Vinny told the owner he just wanted a fresh start which led him to humbly accept a barista position at a Starbucks. After losing over $100 million, he was now at peace with God and himself.
Through a series of miracles, Mr. Baker has now moved on to broadcasting and development work with the Milwaukee Bucks, and he’s also working with an organization to open rehabilitation centers around the country. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves and we can completely trust him with everything. Whatever has happened and wherever you are today, God wants to forgive you, restore you, and fill you with His joy and hope.