“Mom, does Jesus care about the NCAA tournament?”
My answer was, “No…I don’t think He does.”
However, at this year’s March Madness, I began to think differently. People all over the nation are joining together to eat, laugh, compare teams, and enjoy one another in some form of hospitality. God cares about us enjoying life. “Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all of the toil…” Basketball is reconnecting people with each other. Basketball is taking hot topics like gun control, unsafe vacation spots, and immigration off the table to focus on something else.
As people watch the games, it creates agreement. We love to watch the underdog win. But why do we want the underdog to win? Why do we enjoy seeing the #16 seed win over a #1 seed? Because at some point, we have all struggled against seemingly insurmountable odds. We can all relate to the fight of the underdog.
In basketball, a Cinderella story is not about a poor girl becoming a princess with a pumpkin carriage. A Cinderella story is a small, obscure school beating a larger, higher ranked, well-known school. The underdog wins in the basketball Cinderella story! We have hope in the little school because we have been the little school. Our hope in life is built on the understanding that in the end, even against the biggest enemies…Jesus wins. Our hope in the Cinderella team is comparable to our hope in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ will never fail or lose!
Student athletes are sold out to their team. Watching their faces, we can tell that they are “all in.” They play with passion, giving everything they have. We can learn from their passion and apply that same passion in our walk with Jesus. They practice their craft individually and they practice their craft collectively. Shouldn’t we be living similarly? Individually, we practice by reading our Bibles, praying, and exercising love, while collectively, we practice in small groups and church. Let us show the same passion and dedication in our walk of faith.
Maybe Jesus does care about the tournament after all…