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This time of year is very stressful for basketball enthusiasts and rightfully so. March Madness signals the coming of the close of another basketball season. At the end of the season there are two teams crowned winners.  However, there are countless young athletes both men and women whose hopes and dreams are shattered. The title “March Madness” befits the anguish of the many athletes and fans who can’t claim the prestigious title of 2019 NCAA Championship Winners.

Athletes nor spectators have little to do with matching up teams in the brackets. Team matching is up to the selection committee and is based on the end of year ranking. However, most of us pick who think will win regardless of the standings by the NCAA committee. Teams that most people believed would win somehow found themselves losers.

However, everyone was hoping for their favorite team to be a winner no matter what their selected standings were. President Lyndon B. Johnson made a profound statement when he said, “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”  The teams that were fortunate enough to move forward, as President Johnson noted, had their tomorrows to win or lose.

Basketball great Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games and 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” On winning and losing,  coach Bobby Knight said “the key is not the will to win…everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”

When we examine the thoughts of both player and coach, what we glean from their prospective about winning in life is the will to prepare and to never give up trying to succeed whether it is in a relationship, marriage, business, education, or whatever it might be. Never stop trying.

Preparing yourself to be a winner requires perseverance and not being satisfied with what you’ve already achieved. For me personally, the best thing about achieving a goal is when my family praises me for not giving up when things seemed unattainable and realizing prayers have been answered.

It is said that “if you take no risks, you will suffer no defeats.”  Remember, you can’t know the real joy of being a winner unless you’ve experienced defeat.  So, Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!.

 

By Chaplain Ghosten
chaplain@lhp.net