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Pushing Against Evil: I Have My Basketball Goal Back!

Hidden Nuggets Series #68: “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” – Psalm 94:16

Superman fighting Lex LuthorSeveral weeks ago I wrote about being robbed and how we were dealing with the theft of a portable basketball goal at our house. After some investigation on my own, I discovered that the neighborhood kids in the subdivision behind ours took the goal and had placed it in their subdivision’s park area. The big complication to the whole situation was that the subdivision directly behind ours is in another county.

Because I didn’t have proof like a model number for the goal or any personal identifying marks inscribed on it, our local police would not cross jurisdictions to retrieve the stolen property. So we were left frustrated about what to do.

In the end we felt resigned to let the issue rest. It seemed dangerous to retrieve the goal ourselves in that it might incite the teens to take some further action against us. The wise course of action was to just chalk this up as one of those unfortunate life situations that you are forced to stomach.

Before we closed the book on the case though, we had one last route to consider (which some commenters here suggested). Now I’m glad we decided to push back just a little bit more.

How We Got Our Goal Back

We have friends who live in the subdivision behind our house to which the goal was relocated. We contacted them about our dilemma and told them where the goal was located. We wanted to see if they knew names and numbers for the leaders of the homeowners association for that subdivision who we might call.

They did direct us to the right person to contact. Not only that but they told us this nugget of information – their subdivision covenants forbid people from having basketball goals on their property or anywhere else in the subdivision. So the fact a goal was even present on the playground the subdivision manages should have immediately raised a red flag.

A couple days later Mrs. Luke1428 called the number given to us. As she began to explain what had happened, the person on the phone said, “Oh, you are so-in-so’s friend (the friends we knew who lived there). They told us what happened and we are so sorry. Please come take your goal back.”

So we did.

Actually our friends did. They loaded up the goal in their truck and brought it back to our house.

Pushing Back Against Evil

Part of the frustration that I expressed several weeks ago over this incident rested in the knowledge these kids were getting away with something wrong. More to the point also was that I became fearful over the possible repercussions that might occur should I push the issue. Although it felt awful, it seemed best to “take it” as to not escalate the situation.

But at what point does a person always “take it?” Is there not a time and a place to push back against those who practice evil? Shouldn’t we be standing up for what is right and just and teaching people they cannot get away with this type of behavior?

I think so and that’s what led us to push it this one final step. We were prepared for nothing to happen from our phone call and would have accepted that outcome. Fortunately though our final step produced a welcome outcome.

I’ve been reading through the book of Psalms for my devotions and the other day came across this verse from Psalm 94:16:

“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?”

In the passage, the writer is acknowledging that it is God who stands up for him against those seeking his harm. He can do nothing for himself and could not stand in opposition to them alone. In fact, in the next verse he says, “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence.” That implies that with the Lord’s help he did not back down. He did not let the evildoers have their way. He spoke up and stood against what they were doing.

I wonder though whether God isn’t asking us the same question, “Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers?” Too often we shrink back in fear of standing up against what we know is wrong. Just like in my situation we fear the repercussions of our stance and choose to live in silence. Isn’t it time we step into the gap and confront evil when we see it? I think so.

Imagine a world where we turned a blind eye to every evil act. Where criminals were free to do as they please. Where restitution and justice were never achieved. How could we manage in such a society?

I’m glad we took the one final step and decided to push the issue a bit. If anything, perhaps it will blunt the attitudes of those who took our goal from feeling they can get away with wrongdoing. If it teaches them that lesson then my experience with this incident will have been worth something.

How do you determine when to take a stand against something that is wrong? Have you ever retrieved something that was stolen? How do you conquer the fear of repercussions to your stance?

Image by Mark Anderson at Flickr Creative Commons

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  1. It’s easy to “take it” and turn the other cheek. But there are times when we need to stand up against what’s wrong. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes – pray as if everything depended on God; work as if everything depended on you.

  2. I am SO happy that you got the basketball goal back!!! I am also happy that the situation resolved itself amicably. It does not feel good when evil is done to us, but I think it’s worse when we employ evil in return.

  3. So glad you got it back. Right is right and hopefully those kids learned something.

  4. So glad it ended up working out for you Brian and glad you had that connection to use to your advantage. I know I would’ve been tempted to just go take it, though in the end that just wasn’t the right thing to do. I can’t remember ever having anything stolen from me personally, but did happen to a family member several years ago and they went the opposite approach. Suffice it to say, your approach worked much better…

    • I’m pleased with the outcome as well John. Now I’m just going to wait and see what happens when they realize we have it back. That might produce yet another round to the story.

  5. Yay! I think this falls under “pick and choose your battles.” If something is THAT important to you, you will know and proceed to take action. The other day someone left a rather biting comment on my blog. It was very insulting and I’m not sure they even knew. I was mad and wanted to pursue talking to this person or felt this passive aggressive rage like, “well I’ll show them!!!” But in the end it was a stupid comment and I let it go. In that case it wasn’t worth it for me.

    • I think you are right about picking your battles. Some are absolutely not worth it. I had a similar situation the other day on my Facebook page where someone left an over-the-top offensive remark. I had your same initial reaction. When I told my wife she said, “Oh cool…your very first FB troll.” That kind of made me feel good actually…like I was doing something right that hit someone’s nerve. So I didn’t respond (just hid their comment…hehehe).

  6. I just have one question, (and forgive me for it, I’m a girl,) what is a ‘basketball goal’? The goal is where you want the ball to go so wouldn’t it be the ‘hoop’ in basketball? I’ve never heard of basketball goals and plenty of basketball hoops. Maybe it’s a regional thing or maybe I’m just a dunce. But I do really want to know in case I need to fight a bunch of teens to retrieve one for the rightful owners. ; )

    • Haha…goal, hoop, it’s all the same thing. Just like people calling a soft drink soda, pop or coke. 🙂 They took it all – rim, backboard, pole, base support, everything. I call it a basketball goal because that’s an actual statistic measured in basketball. When you take a shot at the basket it’s called a “field goal attempt” (FGA). (Not to be confused with a field goal in football.)

  7. You went the nicer route than I would have. I would have just loaded that bad boy up and took it back. Sometimes I can be such a child! Glad you got your goal back. I hate thieves.

    • Haha…believe me, that was my initial reaction when I first saw them playing on the goal. I wanted to confront them on the spot. But I didn’t think 4 against 1 seemed like very good odds at the time.

  8. I can’t remember ever having something valuable stolen from me, but with little things, I’ve never been afraid to walk up to someone and just take it back. Of course, I’ve never had to do with that with a person I feared, so I guess I’d probably go into passive-aggressive mode in that case 🙂

  9. Glad it worked out for you Brian. Enjoy shooting hoops again!

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