Every athlete has two internal enemies: arrogance and ignorance. Arrogance is an offensive display of superiority or self-importance. Arrogance is overbearing pride and must be guarded against at all cost. Arrogance is an enemy that can keep us thinking and feeling that we are better than we really are. Arrogance is a malicious, malignant menace, intent on misdirecting our minds away from a moderate and temperate measure of ourselves.
On the other hand, every athlete must also guard against ignorance. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, information, or education. Ignorance is not knowing how good you are or failing to acknowledge how bad you are. Both are evils to be avoided.
Dennis Rodman was a rare bird indeed. But Rodman was neither ignorant nor arrogant. He was smart and savvy and unusual and uncanny all at the same time. Rodman’s untoward ability was an uncommon agility: some consider him the best rebounder ever. He managed to lead the NBA in rebounding (15.0 rpg) in 1997-98 for a record seventh consecutive season. How did he do it?
For starters, Rodman had an unabashed command of the psyche of other players. In other words, Rodman managed to get into the heads of his opponents. He managed to mess up their minds and muddy up their mentalities to the point that those that played against him were more concerned about him than they were with winning the game. For Rodman, this was mission accomplished.
Remember the red (and yellow and green and pink) hair? Remember the earrings and the tattoos and the taunting and the trash talking? Rodman used all of this and some to distract and disturb and befuddle and bewilder all those who were foolish enough to pay him any mind. Rodman’s antics and tactics were especially designed to knock opponents off their game. And it worked.
And so the moral of the story is this: don’t let the “Rodmans” of your life get to you. Don’t let the Rodmans in your life get at you. Don’t let them. Because you must GIVE them permission to get in your head. Don’t fall for their tricks or their traits; don’t get distracted by all their jazz or any of their jive; instead, focus your faith and turn your attention to the prize that lies ahead.
Since we know about the “wiles” of the devil, let’s not focus on them. Let’s focus on our Sovereign and our Savior, our Redeemer and our Redemptor, our Deliverer and our Defender, and let’s keep His promises and assurances in our head.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11, KJV