On Sunday I watched the craziest basketball game I’ve ever seen. For any of you not following the March Madness College Basketball Tournament, this year’s contest has contained even more madness than normal. On Sunday my beloved Aggies played the University of Northern Iowa. Usually we are the underdog, but this year we have a great team. We are a #3 seed in the tournament and UNI was a #11 seed. We dominated in our opening round game, and we were expected to play Texas in round 2, reigniting an old rivalry, however Texas was knocked off by a half court buzzer beater by UNI.
So I was moderately confident going into the second round on Sunday, and the game was certainly entertaining, but definitely didn’t go the way I thought it would. We played horribly all game and with about 35 seconds left, we were down by 12 points. This is when many of my friends told me they turned the game off, and I almost did as well.
Thankfully, I left it on.
During that last 35 seconds we went on a 14-2 run and tied the game to send it to overtime. We then tied in overtime, but were able to pull out a win in double overtime. It was crazy. I was reading a statistic yesterday that said with 40 seconds left in the game we had a 0.01% chance of winning. And yet even with that 99.99% chance of winning, UNI gave up the biggest, craziest comeback that I have ever seen.
I read last night while writing this that the NCAA has officially confirmed that this was the biggest final minute comeback of all time, with the previous record being 11 points in 59 seconds. A&M did 12 points in 35 seconds.
This game was the embodiment of what any sports fan dreams about at least once. A&M is not a basketball powerhouse, and we have only reached the sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament 4 times including this one, and we’ve never made it past this round.
I was overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions after the game was over, but one thought came to mind in particular. Life is crazy. You really never know what to expect. As I write this, I am re-watching the West Wing series for about the 10thtime. It’s my favorite TV show of all time, and in the episode playing right now they are attending a funeral for a main character who dies very suddenly at the end of one of the early seasons. It was completely unexpected.
So many things in life are like that. So many times we feel like there is a 99.99% chance that our day will be just another normal day. And yet we all know what that 0.01% day feels like. That day when the phone rings and tragedy is on the other end of the line.
Life comes at you fast, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I am the healthiest when I remember what grounds me in the midst of chaos. When I was in seminary I worked at a small urban church in West Chicago for a pastor named Ramon. He was one of the greatest people and pastors that I have ever known. I remember speaking to him before he left for a mission trip to Guatemala and he told me that if I don’t learn anything else from him, that I should learn to always remember what the main thing is. To remember that everything we do, we for God and with God, and at the end of the day, that’s enough to sustain us no matter what happens.
The following weekend he had a heart attack in Guatemala while in the water which left him in a coma. He was air lifted back to Chicago a few days later but he passed away soon after arriving. I miss Ramon, and I remember his words well. Most of the time we exist in those 99.99% times, but life is really all about those 0.01% events. The good ones and the bad ones.
We are in the midst of Holy Week. What Christ did over 2,000 years ago was definitely one of those 0.01% events. No one expected Christ would willingly sacrifice himself and they certainly didn’t expect that he could rise from the grave three days later. We get to celebrate the greatest event in history this week.
I pray that we won’t get so distracted by the 99.99% stuff this week, that we miss the miraculous 0.01% event that Christ accomplished for all of us. A&M pulled off the greatest comeback in NCAA basketball history on Sunday, but Christ is the original comeback king, and that’s what this week is all about.
You’re invited to join us at our Holy Week services:
Maundy Thursday @7pm – Sanctuary
Good Friday @7pm – Sanctuary
Easter Sunrise @7am – Main Street Parking Lot
Easter Modern Worship @9am – Sanctuary
Easter Traditional Worship @11am – Sanctuary
Happy Holy Week my friends,