March Madness Part 1

If you are a sports fan it is a fun time of year with college basketball’s tournament in full swing.  This past weekend it tipped off and as usual provided a lot of excitement and craziness.  There was one game in particular that caught my attention as I happened to be in the car and listening to it at the time.  It was the game between Marquette and Davidson.  Marquette was the favored team to win the game, but Davidson had played almost flawlessly.  In fact Davidson had played 39 minutes (a regulation college game is 40 minutes) of basketball the way they needed to in order to win the game. With one minute left to go in the game Davidson was leading by 7 points and seemed certain to pull the upset.  However, I wouldn’t be writing about them if they had held on for the final minute.  Davidson missed several free throws that could have given them a larger lead and most likely guaranteed a win.  Then all of the sudden Marquette hit two three point baskets to make it a one point game with only eight seconds to go.  Time was still on Davidson’s side because all they had to do was get the ball in bounds and run out the clock.  But the man who threw a pass threw it too far and it went out of bounds giving Marquette one last chance.  If the previous 52 seconds had not been crazy what transpired next sure was.  Marquette threw the ball in bounds and the guy dribbled right down the court and made a lay-up (the easiest shot in basketball).  No one ha guarded him or tried to stop him, they basically let him score.  The crowd went crazy and I saw pictures later that night of the Davidson team who looked stunned at what had just happened.

It got me to thinking about finishing well.  Sometimes we get to the end of a school year and we don’t finish as strong because we are ready for summer vacation.  Sometimes when it is the day before vacation starts we don’t work as hard because we are thinking about our vacation.  Sometimes as Christians when we have walked with Christ for a while, we take things for granted and we don’t do the things we know we should.  The apostle Paul at the end of his life said this in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”  We each have a race to run that is unique to us.  God has certain plans for our life (Jer. 29:11) and our mission should be to run that race and accomplish those plans that God has for us.  One time I heard someone ask a preacher who was getting ready to retire what his plans were.  I will never forget his response.  He said “I may be retiring from being a pastor, but I will never retire from being a Christian.”  Until our last breath on earth, God has a plan for us and we need to pursue it with all we have.  Don’t get to the end of your life and lose the lead in the last minute.  Pursue Christ with every breath until you are out of breaths!

By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him

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