Bill and I love the NCAA Basketball tournament. When we first began dating Bill came over to my apartment in Waco to watch the final game….and I acted like I was really interested. But through the years I have come to really enjoy watching game after game after game.
Several years later…March Madness 1996, I went into labor with Caroline during one of the games. There was a moment I thought we might have to see the outcome before heading to the hospital. Fortunately my hospital room was hooked up with the game so Bill could do something besides think about how huge this particular moment was in our lives.
Each year Bill is in a tournament pool with two of his best friends from his high school basketball team. The only prize is the “pride” of winning. For several years Bill has won. This year he took second place. I am hopeful that this had nothing to do with the fact that, for the first time in the history of me watching this tournament, I actually gave Bill “suggestions”. Apparently they weren’t that good. I have committed to not “interfering” again.
Truly my favorite time of the entire tournament…and probably my favorite sports moment all year long is when CBS plays the song…“One Shining Moment”. They run this video after the trophy has been given and you watch clips from the many games leading up to the championship. You see the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of the various teams (and some very impressive 3 pointers!) and I love it! I really, really love it.
I think part of why I love it so much is because it just seems like it embodies all that is good about sports. It gives the players a chance to shine. And they aren’t playing for money, they are playing because they truly love the sport and have worked really hard at perfecting their game.
In case you missed this years version, you can see it here:
(If you have this sent directly to your email, I have included a link at the bottom for you that should work.)
I know someone else who had her own shining moment a few weeks ago. Ironically, it involved a basketball goal too. It also took a whole lot of hard work and even more prayer. She wasn’t playing for a crowd, but I know she felt every bit as triumphant as the North Carolina Tarheels felt Monday night.
You see, my friend Terry, has been in a wheelchair for the three years I have known her. She has MS and I didn’t know standing was even within the realm of possibility for her. In fact her doctor told her he did not think she would be able to walk again. But sure enough, a week or two ago we were standing to sing a song in church when I looked over and thought I saw Terry standing.
I wondered for a second if my eyes were playing tricks on me.
When the song was over and everyone sat down and I saw her sit too.
And I couldn’t believe it. It took everything I had in me not to jump up and down and yell “Terry….I saw that!!!! Whoo HOO!” But I was on the opposite side of the church and I didn’t figure that would be appropriate.
But I quickly found her afterwards and asked if what I saw was real.
And she assured me it was very real. She said that not too long ago she was very discouraged. She had painted Isiah 40:31 (Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will WALK and not be faint.) on a wall in her home and looked at the verse daily. She desperately wanted to walk again.
After praying about a solution for her situation for some time, her husband rigged up some kind of pulley system and she began working and eventually started taking tiny steps.
She lives in the first house on her street. At the end of her cul-de-sac is a basketball goal. She made it her goal to walk to the basketball goal. And SHE DID IT!!!
And she wept when she told me about it. And I was completely and utterly in shock that she could now walk. Even tiny, slow steps.
She sent me this email yesterday:
I have the opportunity to talk to so many different people because of my thorn in my left side ( MS). I so enjoy reading Paul in 2 Corinthians12:7 describing the thorn in his flesh. I have asked for complete healing but if my left side remains weak, Paul has encouraged me to know that my weakness is perfecting power. I believe God has allowed me to have MS so that I can make an impact for His kingdom. If I had known twenty years ago I would have this daily struggle I would have found it difficult to enjoy my life at that point in time. I have a wonderful life full of loving people. Having a miserable attitude is a choice. I do ask to get even stronger almost daily but I do know now that if I should go downhill again life will still be full of good things given to me from Him. I know this sounds really sappy but when you have been through a rough spot and God has been with you it makes you know that you really do not need to fear hard times.
And that my friends is a victory. A victory for the record books.