Monday, March 24, 2008

Politics, Basketball and Life

Well, I watched some of the NCAA “March Madness” over the weekend. It is always interesting to watch the small, #16 seed try and defeat the big guys. Never has it happened, yet there is always the possibility. However, a few times the #15 seed humiliates the #2. This year, it was the little school called Belmont almost upsetting the mighty Duke University. Of course, later in the day, another “David” eliminated the “Goliath” it faced, as #13 seed San Diego surprised #4 UConn. Those who follow college basketball know that both Duke and UConn are power houses that usually do well, and that is why they were seeded so high. But of course, those of us who watched or checked later found out that Duke did indeed fall to the #7 seed West Virginia in the second round.

So, what does this have to do with politics and life? Look at the current presidential campaign. Early on, everyone thought that Sen. Hillary Clinton was a shoe in for the Democratic nomination. Then, along came a freshman Senator from Illinois with all his charm, youth and good looks, and she is in the battle of her political life. On the Republican side, the media darling, experienced, senior Senator from Arizona looked for all intents and purposes to be washed out last fall, with little money and a campaign staff that was falling apart. Mitt Romney, the “#1 seed” from Massachusetts, looked to be the nominee. Then along came a lessor known former governor from a small, Southern state, with all his charm and good looks, as well as a funny name. The pundits claim he, Mike Huckabee, stole a lot of the Conservative votes from Romney, thus giving the nod to McCain, who now is the proverbial phoenix, rising from the ashes of sure defeat and claiming the nomination of the Grand Old Party. Sounds a lot like an overtime basketball game to me.

Now, for the final analogy. In life, we are all faced with struggles that look like insurmountable impossibilities. Even our beginning in the womb as an invisible combination of our parents’ DNA seems impossible. In nine short months, we go from a microscopic embryo to a seven pound or so bundle of joy. Then, with the help of our parents, our fragile, helpless selves become growing children, facing the challenges of school and playground, sickness and injury, tests and competitions. Then, before we realize it, we are adults, hopefully ready to take on the world and become “successful” members of society. Somehow, we survive the onslaught and go from a #16 seed to a conquering, victorious #1 Champion.

Now, give glory to the God who made you and helped you through to this point. Even if you don’t know Him, He is there. Don’t believe me? Read this, written by the David mentioned above, who killed the giant Goliath with a stone and slingshot:

O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:1-16, NKJV)

God knows you better than you know yourself.

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