Today is "Selection Sunday." For those who do not care about college basketball, this designation is meaningless. However, for the rest of us, who find this month to be the best time of the year for sports, this is a significant day. It is during March that grown men (and women) start talking about Cinderella. March Madness becomes an important focus as brackets are filled out (just for fun, of course.) Fan bases are developed for colleges and universities that have fewer students than many high schools in our area.
- Phi Slamma Jamma
- Dunk City
- Coach K
. . . and many others enter back into the lexicon and people reminisce of games and tournaments from the past.
Today, there are already numerous teams who "have their tickets punched" due to winning their individual conference tournaments. Others are definitely in based on their record, RPI and conference.
Still others wait.
Players gather with teammates and coaches to see if the selection committee will deem them worthy of an at-large bid to the biggest tournament of the year. Uncertainty hovers over them like a cloud. It's a terrible place to be, especially when the last team name is placed on the board. . .and their name is left off. Oh, there's the NIT, and while there was a time years ago when the NIT was more highly esteemed than the NCAA, everyone knows that today there's only one tournament that really matters. Everything else is just a consolation.
I fear that many people see eternity like these players. People live their lives. . .trying to do more good than bad. They come to the end of their lives, hoping. They hope that somehow, in their understanding of heaven and fairness, that God will let them into heaven. Yet, they're unsure. They're unsure because. . .well, they're record wasn't very good.
They are basing their entire hopes on eternity on a metric that doesn't work.
They have missed the reality that they can never be good enough.
Eternity isn't like Selection Sunday. God is not writing names down in his book based on how good we are or can be. Reservations aren't secured because we deserve to be there. In fact, none of us deserve heaven.
Yet, some of us have heaven as our eternal destination. We don't get heaven because we're good enough, or better than others, or deserve it. For those of us who do, we're not going to be sweating it out with our teammmates (or family, or even alone) at the end of our lives. Our hope is secure because of Jesus Christ alone.
I pray that you know this reality. I pray your name is in God's book. Settle this today by surrendering your life to Christ and receiving His free gift.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)