My team lost tonight in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. They definitely should have won, with all the odds stacked in their favor. As I have watched them through this season, I was amazed at times by what they were able to do, far surpassing early expectations. Come from behind wins on the road sent a message early on that they were for real, with great teamwork and depth providing a different star every game night. Any losses were within a few points, and they rarely relaxed their effort.
So, I am proud of them. But tonight, still sad for them.
They now have to go home early, living the next year with the memory of not playing up to their full potential.
It was painful to watch, more so with the looks on their faces when they saw that last second shot swish through the net, stealing what should have been their destiny out from under their feet.
I sometimes wonder if God feels the same way about us.
After providing what we need to get through our daily battles, do we prove ourselves? Or do we make it harder than it should be, slinking back into old habits and acting as if we have already lost? How can we play to perfection on some nights, but resemble a beginner on others?
Being a Christian is very different from the Big Dance. God provides the luxury of starting each day anew. His grace covers where we fall short. We are not sent home early because of one bad day or bad game and left to reflect on that one failure for the rest of the year.
But He has a goal in mind for us. He knows we are capable. He chose us for a reason. He wants us to be a star, not really so we can become famous, but so that He can.
When we all play to our full potential, wonderful things take place. We over achieve. We defy the odds. We surpass our goals, set records and fulfill our dreams.
And God is the first to say, "I knew you could do it."
Like a coach, it is what He intended all along. There is no telling what He has in store for us if we play to our potential on a daily basis.
Philippians 3:13-14 But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Janet Morris Grimes, the author The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in 2011. She launched Abbandoned Ministries to lead others to seek God, as Abba, during abandonment. For more information, visit http://janetmorrisgrimes.com or http://abbandondoned.com.