“Are you any good at picking NCAA brackets?” I asked hopefully. The guy sitting next to me was sipping coffee. I watched the ticker running across the television screen announcing that Warren Buffet and Dan Gilbert (owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers) are teaming up to pay one billion dollars. That’s “if” someone can predict, exactly, the outcome of the NCAA tournament. All 32 games with 64 teams, then 16 games, then 8 games, then the Final Four. Chances of winning according to CBS Sports are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Simple. Simply unattainable.
“I wish,” Tom muttered. He took another sip of his morning coffee and read the paper. I opened my Bible to Isaiah. Our planning session to be the 1 in 9.2 quintillion ended. The dream of winning one billion dollars was tantalizing and unrealistic.
Do you live with cancer or another long-term illness? Love someone who does? Ever feel like you’re picking brackets and hoping for a win? Or like you’re following one of those books popular in junior high? You could choose the end of your story by going in one direction or the other. You could preview every option to control story’s end. In real life all it takes is a wrong decision here, luck of the draw there, and bam. Your bracket loses and your dream seems to dribble away.
You do know that you weren’t designed for this place, right? You are worth so much more than billion dollar dreams. Life is designed to move us towards something beyond money and whatever we think a currency windfall can make right on earth. We’re moving towards eternity. It’s hard for your heart to believe past what the eyes can see. So God gave us a gift called faith lived out by an even greater Gift, his only son. Jesus lived among us and walked with us and died for us to make things right. He paid the price for our wrong decisions, our wrong turns, our sin. He’s alive and he’s the only Way over a black bottomless chasm of mis-picked life brackets and eternal regrets.
God has good things planned for us. No perfect brackets required.
“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21-22
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
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