The Washington Wizards, yes the Washington Wizards, aren’t chicken. They have a 2-0 series lead over the Chicago Bulls in their first round, best-of- seven NBA Playoff series. Go figure. You know why? They not playing chicken. Most of us can’t even name their starting five, but that doesn’t matter now. All that matters is that they’re not afraid.
The Wizards certainly aren’t chicken. Being called yellow is synonymous with being called a scaredy cat. One derivation of the term “chicken” is that chickens are yellow, and the color yellow has negative connotations. “Hippocrates and later European medical theorists believed the humors were associated with certain organs and emotions: blood (heart) with cheerfulness, phlegm (brain) with calm and composure, yellow bile (liver) with anger and temper, and black bile (spleen) with depression and gloom. For example, cowardice was associated with an imbalance in yellow bile, hence the term yellow for someone who lacked bravery.”
Who’s afraid? We all should fear God and keep His commands, for this is the whole duty of man. We should come to God with “fear and trembling.” We should fear the wrath of God, and this fear keeps us in check and in sync and also keeps us from being out of sorts and out-of-bounds.
Who should be afraid? None of us should live with unhealthy fear. Opposite of Godly fear, on the flip side of the coin there is anemic, noxious, negative fear. This fear is a killer, a defeater, and a destroyer. Unhealthy fear holds us back and hems us in. It handcuffs and hamstrings us from being and doing what we are called and destined to be and to do. We are destined and called to overcome and overpower anything and everything that comes against us and stands in the way of righteous maturity and spiritual conformity – our spiritual formation.
Because the Wizards are playing with nothing to lose, they find themselves with everything to gain – they’re two games away from their first playoff series win in memory. So it’s two down, two to go. And in the words of Wizards coach Randy Wittman, “We haven’t won anything yet.” After an overwhelming majority of media pundits nationwide picked the Bulls to win the series, many are changing their tune after the Wizards went into Chicago and took both games from the Bulls. Now, they will play the role as favorites in Game 3 as they return home to play in front of a packed Verizon Center.
Peter walked on the water because he feared and at the same time he was not afraid. It wasn’t the wind and the waves that he was afraid of. He feared missing the opportunity to meet Jesus on the water. He feared the consequence of disobeying his Lord’s command. He feared staying stuck in a stinking, sinking boat with others who were afraid to try.
So don’t be a chicken. Don’t be afraid to try. Just believe and you can achieve. Just believe and you can fly.