Aaron Gordon should have won the 2016 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Period. He threw down the best dunk of the night. End quote. In virtually any other year in dunk contest history, Gordon would have been an obvious, unanimous winner. He brought innovation to go with his athleticism, pulling off dunks without NBA precedent using the Orlando Magic’s mascot “Stuff.”
The dunk that dazzled the denizens in Toronto and around the NBA world was and will be an instinct and forever classic. Gordon took the ball from the grizzly, green mascot Stuff as he circled on a hoverboard; this required tremendous precision. Gordon also managed to soar over the mascot while finishing with a windmill and a dunk in which he went under his legs and seemed to hover in midair (with his eyes at rim level) to finish. The dunk was surely the night’s best single effort, bringing down the house. Many thought that this scintillating, fascinating, slick, slam would surely give Gordon the 2016 NBA Slam Dunk contest crown. It did not.
Gordon’s signature dunk was great but his best wasn’t good enough as last year’s slam dunk champion, Zach LaVine, won over the judges and took home the title. How ironic. How sardonic. Even Zack LaVine said that the two dunkers should have shared the trophy. In life and in sports, some things should be unquestioned, undisputed and unchallenged.
A field goal that splits the uprights, a homerun that lands in the upper deck, and a sprinter that breaks the tape far ahead of the pack are all slam dunks. You don’t have to review the video tape over and over to make sure. It just goes without saying. And another of those things is our God. Yes, such is the case with our God and such should be the case with our faith in God.
Faith in God is a slam dunk. Faith in God is an air tight, fait accompli, open and shut, no questions asked, done deal proposition. At least it should be. The existence of God has been discussed and debated, considered and contemplated since time immoral. And the answer is still the same. God is. God always has been and God always will be. That, my friends, is a slam dunk.
The problem is that the world and our flesh and devil combine and conspire to block and rock and sock our faith so that we don’t believe. Unfortunately, we often don’t believe despite the preponderance of evidence that should lead us to believe rather than doubt and distrust the power and promise of God. Instead of holding on to God’s unchanging hand we wander with the world and flounder in our flesh and dance with the devil and make believing and trusting and relying on God harder that it needs to be.
Our faith is based on what God says, not on what the devil says. Our faith is based on what God has promised and provided, not on what our friends have renounced and reneged on. Our faith should redirect our fear. As the hymn writer Charles Albert Tindley said, we must trust and never doubt and He will surely bring us out. So take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there.
So this is my way of encouraging myself in the Lord and building myself up in my holy faith and standing on the promises of God. This is my way of telling myself to “stop relying on yourself” and learn to lean and rely only and solely on God. Because the only slam dunk there is, the only hope and help we have, is in the God of our salvation and the Father of all creation. The only slam dunk we have is in God and his son, Christ Jesus.