In last week’s entry I discussed Living like it’s your Last, as we were coming off of our last games of the regular season. Although we lost, it was to one of the top teams in the country, so we knew it wouldn’t hurt us in terms of our dream to go to a Regional.
This weekend, well, yesterday, was the day we had all been waiting for: Selection Sunday. At 9 p.m., they would announce the regional bids. We had no way of knowing before, and no explanation would be given in either way.
All 18 of my teammates and I sat in our locker room, huddled close so media could catch our reaction when they announced our name. Our staff was standing in the background, following eagerly with brackets as they slowly went through, region by region.
I was shaking, literally. Gripping my teammates hand at each opportunity I thought our name could appear.
… for the entire show…
And then, it ended. Our name was not called.
TV turned off, complete silence.
My coach was the only to speak. They took three teams for an at-large bid that were seeded below us.
God, why? After all of our prayers, our hard work, our dreams… we were chosen as the team that got cut short.
I am still slightly exhausted emotionally, perhaps next week will bring more reflection, but for now I’ll go ahead and write what God has laid on my heart to share:
John 17:3 says: “Now this is eternal life: that they many know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
The Kingdom of Heaven will not be this way. There is no “Selection Show” for those of us that call ourselves believers.
Romans 10:9 says: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
It’s not a matter of “doing” enough, of winning enough competitions, or of being recognized for your achievements. While we do fail, Jesus covers that. Our hope and our promise in God’s love is eternal life. (John 3:16)
But let’s look at the John 17:3 verse again: Now this is eternal life, that they may know you.
Jesus is praying this to the Father, and what does He say about eternal life? Not that there will be a heaven up in the clouds with rainbows and bright colors. No… Knowing God, through Jesus, is eternal life. We can’t ask for anything more or anything better than this: an opportunity to get to know our Father through the person of Jesus. Knowing Jesus is as good as it gets! We come to the realization that we don’t care what heaven is like as long as Jesus is there.
And in our times of hardship, we do not look back. Don’t look back about what-could-have or what-should-have been. We move forward.
As for my team, we fight harder for the bid next year.
But more importantly, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)