It’s fascinating to watch the most stoic of sports fans erupt in various displays of emotion over their favorite team’s plays. Forget the game—I’d rather grab some popcorn and watch that typically passive guy become a drama king when the ref makes a bad call. The spectacle is far greater than the most exciting of sports competitions. And when the team wins? You’d think nothing could surpass the exhibition of sheer elation. And that’s for the pre-season games. Just wait until the play-offs.
So, the underdog team overcomes the odds and wins the big game. What next? There will always be another game, another season, another chance to win or lose. And believe me, emotions will be spent on those wins and losses.
What about the daily game of life? Emotions aren’t so readily displayed for the wins and losses encountered on a daily basis. If we’re honest about the latest news headlines, we see a lot of defeat. It can get pretty discouraging. Super Bowls come and go with different teams taking the ring, but still there’s news of unprecedented human trafficking centered around the event. The Final Four makes another round, yet would-be fans refuse to travel certain states due to bias and fear. Another team will take the NBA Championship this year, and still nothing can dispel the wars and rumors of war around the world.
I was around for the Chicago Bulls three-peat and four-peat and so on, yet in the years to pass witnessed different teams come and go. In sports, no victory is lasting. In life, the forecast seems increasingly grim. The world is a field of broken dreams.
What has the power to overcome the evil, fear, and hatred in this world? Martin Luther King Jr. once so eloquently stated, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Love alone has the last word, the final victory. As we celebrate Good Friday, we think of the words of the man who died on the cross for the sins of the world: “Father, forgive them—for they know not what they do.” Words of forgiveness. Words of healing. Words of love.
Words of victory.
Yes, this world is filled with unimaginable suffering. Most often, this suffering stems from the hardened hearts of men unwilling or unable to love. Yet in the midst of such suffering, consider these words of Helen Keller, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” And what is the one, lasting victory in this world of hate? LOVE.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)