Don't Shortchange God - Semi Ojeleye

In the NBA, like everywhere, there are a lot of different walks of faith and a lot of different lifestyles lived. These days there is tolerance, which gives us all the ability to stand for what we believe in, to stand proudly. You should be able to stick up for it and tell people about it. 

This is not a solo journey. My family is always texting each other verses, we have devotionals we do together, and all of this helps me to stay on top of my faith. I still get up early every day to spend time alone with God. Whether that’s 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 45 minutes, I will spend that time. 

I was just talking to someone the other day who said they feel lost in the Word at times, that it’s intimidating. And it can be! There are some days when you feel like you have direction and you’ve got what you need, then there are other days when you think, ‘Man, I don’t even know where to start.’ But the most important thing is to spend that time; God will meet you where you’re at. 

The other important thing is to find a good church. Sometimes I’m on the road and my coaches will know someone in that city and I’ll go to church with them, or I’ll find a good church in Boston. I’ve been to some great places where I’m reminded that I’m not alone on this walk. You need those reminders.

There are guys who you look up to who have kept their walk with Christ, and seeing that and being around that reminds me there are people who make it through. When you’re in chapel before a game, sitting next to the opposing team’s players, you kind of forget about basketball for a moment. You know you’re about to compete against someone and go out there to beat them, but we all get to a point where we realize basketball can be taken from us. It is just a game. Yes, we do everything we can to win, but at the end of the day, it isn’t life or death. This is just a game, even if it’s a job for us right now. The more mature you get and the longer you’re in the game, the more you realize that Christ is the most important thing.

God has gotten me this far in my career. I cannot shortchange God or believe that what I can do is from my own ability. I am only limited by the amount of faith I have. He brought me here for a reason, not to embarrass or shortchange me at all, but to do something great with my life. 

— Semi Ojeleye, Boston Celtics forward

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