Our greatest Glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. — Confucius
No Cede malis sed contra — “Yield not to misfortunes but surmount them — Hubbell Motto
Today’s meditation is dedicated to George Mason’s basketball team. First they had to beat two teams from last year’s final four — Michigan State and North Carolina. Then this Sunday they faced the Number One ranked team in America — Connecticut. They were 12 points behind and clawed back. They were finally ahead but a last second missed free throw and a shot at the buzzer tied the game. Not many believed they could overcome their fall, their misfortune, of missing the opportunity to win the game in regulation. It was time to quit, to walk away with their heads held high. Except something inside them told them to get back up, to rise again and overcome misfortune. They did. Not easily. Not without last second anxiety, but they achieved glory. Glory at least on a human scale.
One year before the “game of the century” a local Arkansas Baptist church had on its drive-by bulletin board the following:
“ Glory on earth is fleeting, nevertheless BEAT TEXAS!”
We all fall. We all experience misfortune. From a leaky pipe to life threatening illness, minor misfortunes seem major, and major catastrophes seem overwhelming. A southern expression is — I was “knocked to my knees.” I do not know its origin, but perhaps it means that the only thing that can bring one comfort during that time is to ask for God’s comfort.
I love the image of people coming to Christ asking for comfort, and his words “Rise, your faith has made you well.”
As a child we find comfort in the arms of a parent, later in life we find comfort in the arms of a friend or loved one. Yet, when we believe there can be no comfort we find comfort in the grace of God. He holds us like a parent, and then gently gives us a hand to rise again.
“Glory on earth is fleeting, nevertheless congratulations George Mason!”