I listened to the NCAA basketball championship game between Baylor University and Gonzaga University while riding in the car Monday evening with my son-in-law Kyle. He grew up in Northeastern Washington and has been a Gonzaga fan for many years. I am not a strong fan of Gonzaga, but I am an admirer of good coaching, and Mark Few has established himself over 21 years at Gonzaga as one of the best coaches in NCAA division 1 annuls.
They went on to the championship game unbeaten this year, and if they had won the championship they would have done what no team has done since 1976 when Bobby Knight coached the Indiana Hoosiers to a perfect 32-0 season.
I played basketball for a very small High School and two years at a very small college, but I remember those days well. The hard hours of practice as if nothing else in life mattered except winning basketball games. The ecstasy of winning and the agony of losing were the ultimate in emotions.
Saturday Gonzaga won the quarter final game against UCLA with a 30 foot last second three-point shot. I imagine that the emotions Saturday night were off the chart for everyone on the team, especially the starting point guard Suggs who made the amazing game winning shot.
But Monday night after losing by an embarrassing 16 point margin to Baylor I can’t imagine the pain they must be feeling as their dream of a National Championship and a historic undefeated season came to a crashing end.
I have had some major dreams in my life that died. I remember that as I was mulling over in my mind the pain and disappointment of those unrealized dreams that I knew that I would recover and get over it. I also knew that I would not let the failure deter me from pressing on to some even bigger dreams in the days ahead.
Many people never recover from a crushing disappointment or failure in life. The pain was so intense that they choose never to put themselves in that kind of position again, and never aspire to do anything great with their life after that.
When we get to heaven we will see clearly and we will realize that the effort to win, the diligence to accomplish significant things with our life, and the sacrifices we made to change the world were what shaped and made the character that we took with us to heaven. The pursuit of dreams is what God uses to make us like Himself.