Yesterday, we stayed up until midnight to watch the fourth game of the NBA finals. This is not good for my mental health or my beauty sleep. After the first three losses, we had a fitful sleep and dark circles under the eyes in the morning. My skin is starting to resemble the surface of a basketball and I am now trying to throw garbage away from the three point line – unsuccessfully. It is the third straight year for the match up of our beloved Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors. There are excellent athletes on both teams that provide worthy rivals and unpredictable results. Last year, the Cavs did not look to be of the same caliber as the Warriors, but emerged victorious after seven games and lucky last minute shots. I seriously wondered if there were powerful prayers being said all over Ohio and bargains being made with God to have such an unbelievable comeback. My hubby and I were among those in Believeland who were on their feet, jumping up and down and willing every shot to go into the basket. It is interesting that we feel such spirited kinship with strangers. Most of the athletes are not from Ohio, where the team calls home, except for Lebron James of course. Why do we let our blood pressure spike when the outcome of the game does not really impact our lives? We watch because it is entertainment, but we may be trying to relive our old glory days when we were athletes. Are we wired to relish competition against a rival, and live vicariously through our sports teams? I personally like to cheer for the underdogs (yes, I am a Browns fan) and I love the feeling of joy when I am with a crowd of people and our team scores or makes a great play. The playoffs cause more adrenaline surge and excitement than I am used to. It is a marvelous victory for a city to win a Championship because there is renewed faith and pride that spills over into an increase in positive attitudes and economic prosperity. Perhaps this is similar to the way a town felt in ancient civilization when their soldiers fought battles against a fortified city and the walls came tumbling down. We feel like we have been part of the challenge and contribute to the success by being loyal fans and supporting the team. We love our schools, our cities, and our country when we are winners. How we react when we are losers is equally important, and it says a whole lot more about our character. Life is full of losses that could break us. This is when a team or a community should work even harder together to support each other and find a new strategy. Wallowing never works. Gloating is no good either. The Warriors were set to make history with a 16 game run undefeated in the playoffs. Instead, the Cavaliers broke records last night and won the game. We know they could make another miracle comeback, so there may be some restless nights ahead. The miracles I am praying for have been for the many loved ones who have been battling cancer. For those who are losing that battle but remain strong in their faith in the risen Christ, you are an inspiration and victory is yours. I will never stop cheering for the team that follows Jesus.
This one is for you Kelsey Walters.