I don’t really follow basketball and never had a real affection for the game. However, at this time of year, with the sudden elimination tournaments and the win or go home motivation added to the game, I do find the games fascinating. In the men’s NCAA tournament upsets are in abundance, and the thrill of the underdog players and their fans when they knock out a previously higher ranked opponent is fun to watch.
I also enjoy watching the women’s NCAA tournament, as the quality of play has advanced dramatically in the past twenty years. These tough young female competitors have as strong a desire to win as anyone. Yet, they are still young ladies not far removed from being young girls, and the foundations established in their young lives are quite evident.
I was watching the end of the Oklahoma vs Notre Dame game, which went into overtime. These two teams were slugging it out, contesting each shot and playing with an intensity that was unyielding. The young star for OU that made the game winning three point basket in a tie game with only seconds left had a redemptive experience, as she had confessed earlier to shying away from being the star last year, not wanting to be in a position to win the game. She had vowed to never allow that to happen again. It was wonderful to watch.
After the two teams exchanged handshakes, the OU women then gathered on the court in a circle, held hands and were led in prayer by an injured player. Yes, indeed their foundations were strong, and given added strength by their teammates.
I found the moment inspiring and also a reminder that these young women are being tested in athletic competition on a grand stage. This stage, however, is not as grand as the stage of life we have to perform on each and every day, and the thought that many of these young women haven’t really been tested spiritually yet, entered my mind. Most haven’t experienced the emotional highs and lows that life can present without warning. They don’t know so very much, but knowing they have a strong foundation I have faith that irrespective of what life has in store for them, they have an excellent chance of not only surviving, but thriving.
I read something a long time ago where the writer stated that “life is pain.” At the time I thought the writer was correct, but after gaining more life experience I’ve come to the conclusion that he/she was wrong. Life is filled with joy and pain, with both being equally important. The absence of one diminishes the effect of the other. What matters is the spiritual foundation the person was given.
Having said all this, I was reminded of a video I saw several days ago at I Am Second. I couldn’t find a method for downloading off of their site or I would have posted it earlier without a narrative. It is from author Anne Rice, and I found her story quite compelling, and indicative of the importance of a strong foundation.
I hope you find her witness as inspiring as I did.