Currently there are 14 young men, a bevy of trainers and coaches and support staff, and a few others who are pursuing a 40-0 record in the NCAA Tourney. But what I hear, consistently, are many others who apparently are pursuing it with them. Their words do not indicate a pride or a delight or a sort of larger team spirit. Their words seems to say that they themselves are actually playing these games:
"Arkansas was pushing us into the paint"
" I don't see why Harrison is playing so listlessly. We need him to buck up!"
"We need to start Ulis."
"Our free throws will kill us! We've got to make better shots!"
"We're almost there! We've got 36 games behind us, with 4 to go!"
So, a couple of things:
~ the sense of community and connectivity is wonderful. But only 14 guys are playing. No one who is calling into the radio shows is. And trust me, I'd wager 95% of those who do couldn't hit a free throw in front of 25,000 people if their life depended on it.
~And all too often - if for some reason the record is not a 40-0 - it will become about 'Them" and what 'They' did wrong.
And maybe it's only in Kentucky that such an analogy works, but all this reminds me of Palm Sunday.
"We need to make sure there are plenty of palms available"
"What is up with Peter? Why isn't he with the rest of us, standing firm and strong?"
"We need a better looking donkey than that! What will they think of us?"
"We can do this!! Look at the crowd!! They love us!!"
Until the Garden, and the Arrest, and the trumped up Trial, and the trip to Golgotha. Then it would be "Them" and "They".
And then comes Easter. We can love and follow and witness and spread the word and serve others and sacrifice and die to self. But, again, it's nothing WE did. We can take no credit for it.
Scripture tells us Jesus WAS RAISED. It was done unto him. By God. Imagine. Just imagine. Jesus going from darkness to light, from pain to wholeness, from partial to complete, from everlasting to everlasting world without end amen. For the world. For all of time. And it's not about what we do, but what God did. And does. And will continue to do. Pause for a moment, and be very very thankful that it's not up to us. Pause and be thankful to God.