This happened about a year ago and I laughed then. I saw it again the other day and found myself laughing all over again. Roscoe Smith—and it’s fitting that someone with the name Roscoe would do this—is the culprit. He later explained his reasoning for his 80 foot heave:
"When I saw the clock, I thought there were two or three seconds left," Smith told the Hartford Courant. "My team -- man, they got on me in the locker room. I glanced at [the clock] and threw it up there. I just saw the clock going real fast."
As I am laughing through this video I’m struck by something that is not so laughable—the reality that I’ve thrown up 80 foot prayers with 11 seconds left in counseling sessions. Unlike Roscoe, I’ve done this more than once. Some troubled soul has came to my office and poured out their heart, and rather than remaining calm and really listening (taking the time to dribble up the court) I chuck up a full-court prayer.
It’s understandable to do this. After all the clock is moving really fast. It seems that this persons pain needs to be resolved this very second. We don’t have time to get into our offense or get the ball across half-court and call time-out. Time is running out. That clock is ticking. I better lob some sort of advice or wisdom that gets this person’s level of pain down and comfort up.
The problem is that what was needed in this situation was not an 80 foot toss into the stands. There may be time for those full court throws—like when there really is 1 second left instead of 11 seconds. But most of the time what feels like 1 second is really closer to eleven and what is needed is a patient walk up the court (digging for the real issue) and then working for a high percentage shot.
Most of our counseling will be of the 11 second-enough time to run it up the court-variety. Very seldom is it 1 second. The wise counselor will realize this and not treat 11 second counseling like 1 second left full court tosses. To do so puts you in danger of pulling a Roscoe. So, counselors trust the sovereignty of God, learn from his patience, and don’t pull a Roscoe.