Sunday, March 18, 2007

Losing to the glory of God

The Lady Ambassadors lost the championship game rather decisively. We were tied until 5 seconds after the opening tip. Our opponents were simply superior to us. They were older, stronger, more experienced, better players with better coaches. The final score was 71-23. It was a great opportunity for us to lose to the glory of God! I believe that we did just that.

Despite several injuries and losing a player to fouls, our girls finished the game hustling and trying their best on both ends of the court. I believe that kind of effort when victory was hopeless glorifies God.

The girls maintained a respectful attitude toward the referees, the other team, the other team's coaches, their own coaches, the tournament officials and one another. That kind of self-control glorifies God.

When the final buzzer sounded and the other team's celebration reached a crescendo, our girls were weeping out of disappointment, discouragement and probably embarrassment. Yet, instead of immediately consoling one another they stood on the court and clapped for the victors. God was glorified in that.

After the game, in our team meeting, the girls were reminded that basketball is only a game. It's a great game and one that is loads of fun to play, but still, just a game. They were encouraged to remember that the Lord had enabled them to place second in the state in their league and to be grateful for that. Within 20 minutes expressions of gratitude began to flow freely. I believe that glorified God as well.

We had a great year. It is hard to end on a loss, even when that is the only loss of the season. But I got to be around another great group of girls and great parents. Since we only had three true high schoolers (a freshman, a sophomore and a junior), if all the girls come back the team should be much stronger from the first practice next year. It ought to be a great season.


GUNNY said...

It's often hard to win with humility, but even more difficult to lose with poise and still be magnanimous.

That's an awesome trait to see displayed by some so young. Many of us live our whole lives without such Fruit of the Spirit being demonstrated.

scripturesearcher said...

Amen to what Gunny said and said so well.

ROMANS 8:28 "all things..."

J.D. Rector said...

Tom: Thank you for teaching these girls! It is obvious they are learning and exhibiting godly character in the midst of disappointment and loss.

You are to be commended for a job well done. I believe you are truly a great coach... just like John Wooden!

Forest A said...

“whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

- or plays basketball :) Bravo Ladies and Tom!

Mike McIlwain said...

Your girls showed much more grace than did a former team of ministerial students with whom I played intramural basketball in college. We were defeated 73-20 and did not fare as well concerning our attitudes.

I commend you for doing a great job of not only coaching the skills of the game, but also in coaching the girls in sportsmanship and in having a Christ-like attitude.

Joel Maners said...

Philippians 4:13 applies more to losing than it does to winning. Just read the following verses to get a full explanation from Paul. Great article!