March Madness and More

Gratitude Day 418

Sat., Mar. 7, 2020

Psalm 119:130: Understanding your word brings light to the minds of ordinary people.

I truly believe that life is made up of a whole bunch of little moments that end up being big moments in our lives. In life’s journey, too often we focus on “big” moments; things that feel like watershed moments when life shifts.

These guys are important. The day we get married. A first child. A new job.

Yet, there are a whole bunch of moments that are smaller in nature in the moment but often the moments that teach us more about ourselves that we will ever know.

Here are a few little moments that seem like just ordinary run-of-the-mill deals at the time. But I feel teach us a lot about who we are, what is important to us and how we live our lives.

It’s March Madness Time. This means if you love basketball, you can watch a game almost every day of the week. And then some.

It’s high school basketball tournament time in Wisconsin. This means each game is one and done. Win it, your team moves on. Lose and you are done for the season.

College roommates with Megan – Lisa, Megan, Dianne and Barb

For the last few years, Hubby Rick and I have been following our dear friend Megan’s team. Megan’s mom, Barb, and I were college roommates. Barb is one of my “go-to” gals. If I ever needed someone or something, she is someone I could “go-to.”

Megan is a senior. We have watched her play volleyball and basketball the last number of years. Megan has been instrumental in the teams she plays on. She’s the captain, a skilled player and very competitive.

Her basketball team had high expectations this year. Going into tournament time, their stellar record seeded them high. Yet, their one and done happened this week.

It was a huge disappointment for the team, the coaches, the parents and everyone who follows the team. The season didn’t end how everyone hoped it would.

Some of the girls on Megan’s team will play college sports. Megan could but is choosing not to. Yet, the skills and attributes she learned in sports will serve her well into her future. Teamwork. Hard work. Persistence. Giving it your all. Loosing well.

Life is full of wins and losses. At the end of every game, there is a winner and a looser.  It can be heart-breaking to lose. Winning is a lot more than the final score. I am so excited to watch Megan take what she’s learned from sports and translate these skills into little moments throughout her life that will make big impacts. This is what great leaders do. This is what people who see beyond the scoreboard focus on. This is taking what seems like a big loss in the moment and making it mean more than one game.

What started as a chance meeting over 21 years ago has become a life-long friendship. One moment at a retreat all those years ago shifted my life in a big way.

When I began the path to becoming a pastor, I was required to attend a weekend retreat. There were about a dozen people there. During a break, Mary Ann came over and introduced herself. She felt that we had met before. We discovered that she knew one of my sisters. Since that moment, we’ve been life-long friends.

Mary Ann could be my mom. She has children my age. We have multiple common interests. We regularly share ministry and personal moments with each other.

While Mary Ann and I often plan things for the two of us to do together, the last number of years, once a year, we include our husbands. We have our annual card-playing day. This week, Hubby Rick and I traveled to the Floerke’s and we spent hours playing cards and laughing together.

It’s such good medicine to just let the world pause and see whether the guys or the gals have the better cards for the day. We don’t solve the worlds problems or even our own problems. We simply enjoy the small moment of playing cards speak well into our lives.

Like playing cards, we can’t control what we are dealt. What we can control is how we respond. React. Deal with life. Some “hands” make life more challenging. Other hands allow for growth or creativity. Yep, there are times when it feels like everyone else has the better cards. Yet, we still hang in there and play anyways. Big lessons from a little card game.

What little things have happened to you this week that can have a big impact in how you look at life? What seemingly simple and ordinary moments help you define what is big and most important in your life?

This is what faith is. Discovering that there is something beyond ourselves that helps us find meaning and purpose in the million ordinary moments of our lives. Knowing that life’s scoreboard is not the same as what is at the end of a game. Letting the ordinary words of God bring us comfort on challenging days. And surround us with each and every little thing that makes us each 24 hours of our day.

Today may feel like a very ordinary day for you. And that’s OK! I pray you will see how the ordinary, little moments of today become part of the big moments that impact our faith and how we live our lives.  

One last thought for today:

For little things that are the big things, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Dianne

Dear God – when the big life moments happen, thanks for being there. When little things happen every day that feel ordinary and mundane, thanks for being there as well. May we see You in the little moments and connect them to the big things of life. Amen.

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