Posted by: morgan1965 | March 30, 2011

Inspired by March Madness

The month of March has long been an anticipated date in my calendar. The bleak winter months create in me a longing for springtime and summer. The point is that when we make it to the month of March, we will be able to march into the spring season.

The month of March is also known as March Madness. It is the time frame in which the NCAA chooses 68 teams to participate in a national tournament. This field of 68 has now been whittled down to four – the Final Four. Many people have been surprised that they did not pick the right teams to win in their brackets. There are no number one seeds in the Final Four. Now that is March Madness.
There were some very good basketball teams in the tournament, but they were eliminated. These teams have very good coaches, but their teams lost. These teams have individual stars that played a key role in helping their team get to the tournament. Some of these stars performed at a high level, but some of the star players did not play well, especially at critical times. All of these dynamics played a role in creating the March Madness – a time of fun, fury and excitement.

I like basketball and I have had an opportunity to see some of the games.

The teams that have made it to the final four have all been characterized by tremendous passion and desire. These teams had a strong desire to win each of their games. The teams played as a team, working together, playing together, and winning together. These teams have one or two players who were the sparkplug on their team – encouraging, challenging, and performing. These teams have been characterized by a pattern of unselfish play on the part of the team members. None of these teams was ready to accept defeat as their fate. They see themselves as winners. A reality check tells us that only two teams will play in the championship game, and there will be one champion.

Let me suggest, however, that all 68 teams are winners, because their winning ways during the regular basketball season propelled them into the NCAA tournament. Many of these same teams will be back in the NCAA tournament in 2012.

I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul: “Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 3:13-14] As pilgrim disciples, we must press on toward the “goal.”

These college basketball teams have pressed on toward the goal of an NCAA championship with abandon.

As pilgrim disciples, we can do no less, than to seek the prize of “the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”

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