Today the local high school football team plays in the semi-finals. If they win today they go the championship game in Wheeling next Friday night. One of the moms posted this morning (or late last night) that this is the biggest game in the history of the school and the biggest game of their lives (so far).
My mind goes back to the fall of 2008 and the WV State Cross Country Meet. Our son Matt ran cross country for Ravenswood High School. Ravenswood was going for their 9th straight state championship in cross country. (That’s right, they had won 8 in a row). I remember right after the meet they thought they had lost to Berkeley Springs. Many of the teens were crying. One day “the streak” was going to end, but they didn’t want it to be that year. It turned out the the streak would not end until the next year. If their top 5 runners had each finished one spot lower, the team would have finished second. But as it turned out they beat Berkeley Springs that year and won their 9th straight state championship in cross country. The Ravenswood boys were almost more relieved than happy they won. And the next year it was easier to see the streak end because they were nowhere near the best team that year and nobody expected them to win it.
I hope our football team wins today. The other team hopes they win. After the game, one team will be celebrating and many, if not most, of the other team will be crying. Seniors on one side of the ball will be playing their last high school football game. But the truth is, as big as this day and this game is, they will all have bigger days ahead. They will have better days than a victory today will bring and worse days than a loss today will bring.
My prayer for both teams today is that they all make it through the game healthy. My prayer for both teams today is they know that whether they win or lose, that this day does not define them. If they are blessed to live long lives, they will realize that life is full of opportunities seized and opportunities squandered. Life is full of successes and failures. Life is full of good decisions and bad choices.
And I can testify,
that when we turn to Jesus,
He can take defeat,
and turn it into victory,
in ways that only He can,
in ways we never could have dreamt.