Is it possible to learn anything from insanity? Are there good takeaways from crazy? In general, I’d respond negatively to these questions. However, this is the season for March Madness, and I’m learning some really great lessons in this season.
To keep you up to speed if you’re unaware, March Madness is a nationwide college basketball tournament that happens every March, comprised of more than 65 teams. These teams ferociously compete to win the whole tournament. The reason it’s called “Madness” is because it’s crazy what can happen in this tournament. Teams that have been dominant throughout their whole season can meltdown and lose in the first round. Teams that are virtually unheard of can play out of their minds and beat teams that are predicted to win the tournament. And it’s a really fun challenge to fill out a bracket at the beginning of the tournament and then see how your teams do based on your bracket.
In full disclosure, I think that March Madness is the most wonderful time of the year, and I like it better than Christmas for lots of reasons, which could be a different blog. I’ve always been a basketball junkie, loving games at recess in elementary school, playing on teams through middle and high school, summer leagues, as well as doing intramural basketball throughout college. I fantasize that when I get to heaven, I’ll be a really good basketball player.
In the meantime, I get to enjoy March Madness every year. This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to actual games during the first and second rounds of the tournament. I got to watch some incredible games. I also learned some helpful lessons:
- God loves us, full stop. Walking around the arena to go to the bathroom, take a break, grab a snack, I saw a lot of interesting people. I saw beautifully manicured people and others who were slovenly. I encountered people who were super polite and had some run-ins with very rude drunks. In the midst of all this diversity of people, I kept hearing God quietly say in my heart, “Sarah, I love them.”
- God knows, and God’s in charge. In Proverbs 16:9 it says, “The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” We can work hard, educate ourselves, develop sophisticated plans, organize incredible teams and do everything possible to win and succeed. At the end of the day, however, God’s plans and outcomes trump our efforts. Additionally, let’s always remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are superior to our thoughts, based on Isaiah 55:8-9.
- God has included rest in our design. It’s interesting to consider that rest, or the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. I’m coming to recognize and value the importance of having some pause in my life and not just living to work and achieve. While March Madness may not sound restful to you, it was very refreshing to my soul and a wonderful pause.
I hope that you are enjoying the beginnings of Spring, no matter where you live, and that we both continue to experience and revel in God’s love for us! It’s certainly possible to learn from madness and crazy.
P.S.: Below is my NCAA men’s tournament bracket in case you’re interested.