By Jojo Villa
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” -- Psalms 37:4
Rob Labagala had a dream: to play professional basketball in the Philippines. But in college, he was given the fewest minutes of play. His team was loaded with superstars, so he was relegated to the bench. Finally, in one of the season’s last games, he was called to play with only one second left in the game. One second with the ball, and he fumbled. Big time—on national television.
Rob was devastated. But he had one thing that his coaches loved in him: resilience. After mourning his blunder, Rob sought the Lord with Matthew 6:33: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Rob returned to practice and began the slow, broken road to professional basketball. Knowing his limitations in height and talent, he increased his hours in practice and strengthened his mind. God impressed on him three things: pray, study and play. After a long, hard detour, Rob finally made it to professional basketball as the oldest rookie at 26 years old. Six years later, he helped his team win a championship. But that wasn’t his only victory: it was the realization that basketball was a gift with a purpose.
Rob was not defined by any of his mistakes on and off the court. He—like you and I—was deeply loved by the Lord and raised up for a purpose. And Rob’s purpose was to use basketball to inspire and serve the next generation—a passion that he lives out today.
- What is God’s purpose in giving you your talent?
- How can you rise up from defeat or loss of confidence?
- What keeps you from attaining your full potential?
James 1:12; Exodus 9:16; Romans 5:3–5
“Father give me eyes to see and the heart to keep going. I trust that You who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”