“When you go home, tell them of us, and say: ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.'”
As my beloved Badgers fell to Duke on Monday night, I was in a bad place. Frustrated, disappointed, crestfallen at a blown lead after we (forgive the pronoun) were on the verge of a national title.
What a contrast. Just two days before, I joined the entire state (and probably 48 others) in raucous celebration after the mighty Kentucky Wildcats were toppled by our Wisconsin boys. And now…
I saw towels over faces, and slumped shoulders. I saw one team storming the court, and another trudging off it. I saw one of our stars, Sam Dekker, interviewed at his locker, exhaustion and tears rendering him unable to even make eye contact with reporters.
But the example doesn’t end there. After the game, I saw our seniors immediately expressing gratefulness to their school,
their teammates, and their fans. I saw a stream of Facebook status updates reflect a swelling pride in their effort. The next
day, I saw more Badgers red around town than on game day itself. Win or lose, I realized that there is great joy in the journey – and that in this brief life, moments matter:
My baby boy, sleeping peacefully in my arms. My daughter’s shrieks of laughter when we play one of our chasing games. The look my wife gives me when I actually say something amusing.
I love those moments. But I don’t live for them.
You see, sometimes we chase the temporal more than the eternal: “If I can only get my driver’s license, finish college, find ‘the one,’ raise a family, get that better job, buy that house, retire that early”…you fill in the blank. We try to crow-hop from peak to peak, thinking that the valleys are somehow less desirable.
Don’t spend your days wishing for a different time to arrive. Our lives should not be wrapped up in “the moments that take your breath away,” but rather the One who gives breath. He is good. What He does is good. Don’t avoid the journey’s joy – but remember the destination.
Let’s not let the gifts surpass the Giver. My Savior’s eternal defeat of death should bring me far greater joy than my team’s defeat of Kentucky. Championships will come and go, but I am already part of His eternal victory.