Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Joy of Cheering ...

The past few weeks have been very busy and a lot of fun. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love sports and that basketball was my love growing up and I still love to watch it. So it is no surprise that I am a big fan of the month of March. With the NCAA tournament known as March Madness, filling out brackets, watching game, after game, after game and talking about all the games I watched with other hoop heads. But there is more to March, especially this March.

High School basketball has their end of season tournament in March. This year our local High School's girls team went on a great run to the final four teams in the state. Another school near us had their boys team win the regional championship and one of our youth is on that team. Then there is the fact that 3 of my grandkids played basketball in the UpWards league where they live. They were each playing at a different age level so that was 3 different teams.

So this year March Madness has added significance for me. I watch and cheer the NCAA games for the thrill of watching high level basketball. I enjoy basketball and I enjoy trying to predict who will win. But the joy of cheering the NCAA games is not really personal, at least not for me. Cheering the high school games and my grandkids is very personal. You see 8 of the 10 girls on our high school team played volleyball for me, that made it very personal. I really know those girls and I care about them beyond wins and losses. I was invested in them as I cheered, it was very personal. The boys team in the area that had one of our youth on the team was personal because I know him at a different level than just sports. My grandkids are always personal for me. I love cheering them on in anything.

I guess what I am attempting to say in this post is that this March I have had a great reminder of the true joy of cheering on others. I took great joy in watching our girls team make their great run in the tournament this year. They gave me great joy, but part of that joy was the fact that I was cheering. There is greater joy when you are invested. Why do I always have joy seeing my grandkids do anything? Because I am invested in them. If you just watch something, there is little joy. The real joy is in the cheering, it is in the participation and the personal investment.

How about your church? Any joy for you there? If so, I will guess that you are participating, that you are cheering and personally invested. If not, then I feel sure that you are not cheering, you are not participating and you probably are not personally invested. Give it a try, cheer for someone and see what happens.

As for this March, I say thank you to my grandkids for putting up with my cheering. For the local teams thanks for the joy you provided me as I cheered for you. It was fun to see you win, but it has more rewarding to invested in your lives. Be assured that I will continue to cheer for you, even though the season may be over.


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