Monday, April 25, 2011

Reputation Increases, Ability Decreases

Photo taken of me, a few days ago, in my dreams.
I'm having fun on Facebook today since it is my birthday. Thanks to those who sent Facebook greetings!

My friend Keith, a former student when I was at Michigan State University as a campus pastor, told me he was thinking of my "basketball exploits" when he was there as a student. Yes, I did love to play basketball! And yes, Keith tried to block all my shots but only succeeded 80% of the time (he's 6/5" and can also jump).

I used to love to shoot free throws. For years, as a form of relaxation, I'd shoot multiple sets of 50 free throws, occasionally getting 50 in a row. My record was 80. But today when Keith asked me what my record was, I responded "450." So, I slightly exaggerated. After all, it is my birthday, and eyewitnesses to my "basketball exploits" are dying off. Perhaps I will outlive all who once saw me play basketball, and I will seize the opportunity to inflate my statistics even more? Outliving all eyewitnesses is crucial to leaving an inflated legacy.

Dag Hammarskjold, in his brilliant journal Markings, wrote: "Reputation increases, ability decreases."

(I played high school basketball through my junior year. I did not play in my senior year. If I had made the team I would have spent much time riding the bench. Now I am 62. I cannot jump, cannot run [what I do when I 'run' is not called 'running' by anyone], cannot defend, but can still shoot if left unguarded and given time to set up.)