The first time I watched this video I thought “How cool, wheelchair basketball… but where is this going?” Towards the end, it appeared to me that all the guys got out of their chairs, and I thought this was a video about “walking a mile in another person’s shoes (or chair as the case might be). I thought that it was a bunch of guys trying out wheelchair basketball for fun but then as it became clear that one of the guys did not get out of his chair I realized what was going on. It’s not too often that a beer ad teaches a lesson on friendship.
Yes, they were “walking a mile” in their friend’s shoes, but more than that. They were going an extra mile. They were not simply trying it out; they were meeting weekly to get better at this style of basketball.
The tagline from the commercial: “Dedication, loyalty, friendship; the choices we make reveal the true nature of our character” does a great job of summing up what we see in the video, but there is more to be seen.
Ecclesiastes 4:10, 12 says: “If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help. Where one alone may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.” Friendship implies that we are not alone. We have brothers and sisters to walk the journey of life alongside. We have people who share our laughter, tears, ups and down. True friendship involves not only walking beside, but also helping up, pushing forward, and moving out of our comfort zone.
The guys in the video could have “walked beside” their friend by attending his wheelchair basketball games as supporters in the stands, but they went beyond and learned how to drive the chair, maneuver on the court, and get up after having fallen. They got off the sidelines of life and entered the game. I can imagine that every one of these guys are better people today as a result of the effort. Proverbs puts it this way: “Iron is sharpened by iron; one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17)
We often see a disabled person or a person with a physical or mental illness and think “How can I help them?”, but how often do we say “How can they help me”? Every person is an image of God, every person can reveal the truth, every person can call us closer to Jesus.
I think the tagline of the video reveals some of the answer. Yes, the choices we make reveal the true nature of our character. So when we choose to go the extra mile; and choose to go beyond our comfort zone, and choose to put our faith into action; this is how we choose Christ.
Post written by Jeff Hedglen
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