Whatever you’re going through today, keep fighting.
Don’t ever give up. Ever.
No matter how bleak things look, no matter what odds you’re facing, no matter how long you’ve been praying and pleading, don’t give up
Never, ever give up.
Want more adages? Fight until the end. Give it all you got. Don’t let up. Cue Journey and don’t stop believin’.
Texas A&M found that out Sunday night in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament. The Aggies, led by Billy Kennedy (read about him here from last Monday), were trailing Northern Iowa for most of the second half of their Round of 32 game in Oklahoma City. The Aggies were even down 12 with under a minute left.
Fans were leaving the stadium. Hearts were already breaking. That kind of lead is normally the kind of thing you can bet on — truly — in college basketball.
But somehow, some way, the Aggies scratched back in. The Panthers made some late-game critical errors and Texas A&M capitalized on every single one. The teams ended regulation tied. The Aggies erased at 12-point deficit in 35 seconds. That just doesn’t happen.
Then the game went to a second overtime before the Aggies avoided the upset and pulled away for good, winning 92-88 and advancing to the Sweet 16 this week.
Those tenacious Aggies should give everyone a little spring to their step today. Unless, of course, you were up all night celebrating. Then we’ll forgive you for taking things a little slow.
OK, so maybe a sporting event is a trite comparison to overwhelming grief, pain of cancer, a barren womb or the sting of another passed over promotion. But for so many of us, sports is the analogy of life. We can see life more clearly because of what happens on the hardwood, soccer pitch, tennis clay, diamond or gridiron.
When you’re surrounded by a head coach who just. won’t. stop. believing. in. you., and teammates who’ve got your back time after time, you can do mighty things.
Or, better put: When you’re surrounded by a God who just. won’t. stop. believing. in. you., and friends knit together through the bonds of Christ’s eternal love who have your back time after time, YOU can do mighty things.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
– Lamentations 3:22-23
After the game, Coach Kennedy was interviewed by CBS’s sideline talent. The first words out of his mouth? “To God be the Glory,” with Kennedy calling the event a “blessed game.”
Does God care about sports? Some days my answer is no. He’s got grief, cancer, war and hopelessness to take care of, after all. But God is a good, good father. Just as our earthly parents were out in the yard with so many of us placing balls up on tees or rebounding under goals on garages when we were younger, I think God is right beside us no matter what, coaching us on to our goals.
God is urging us not to give up. To swing harder. To follow through. To run faster. To wrap up and tackle. FOR MY SAKE, DON’T FOUL RIGHT THERE.
Don’t ever give up. Ever. If March Madness and brackets busting everywhere has taught us anything, don’t. ever. give. up.
P.S. My underdog-loving heart goes out to Northern Iowa (and all the Cinderella teams who are no longer dancing). I’d have been rooting for the Panthers if I wasn’t such a fan of Kennedy’s.
P.P.S. You’ll always have this Aggie bench player cheering you on: