March Madness is, in my opinion, the greatest sporting event in the world. Go ahead and try to argue with me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love sports. Football is my favorite, both college and the NFL, and the playoffs and Superbowl are a must watch. There is the World Cup, rugby of course, but soccer is ok too. You can’t forget the Olympics, which have a history unlike anything else. But…nothing compares to the NCAA basketball tournament that we fondly refer to as March Madness.
Each year we get to watch the stories unfold as the titans of the sport live up to the lofty expectations set for them. Or we cheer on some small schools trying to make an improbable run. The different players who step into the national spotlight. Amazing, heroic performances, nail biting finishes that leave your heart racing. Stunning endings that leave you dumbfounded.
The stories capture our hearts and leave us wanting more. Why do we love them so much? I believe it is the same reason that we love all great stories. Even if you don’t follow sports, or care who wins or loses each year, you can appreciate a great story. You may prefer your stories to come in the form of a theatrical performance or cinema experience. You may prefer to read them in classic literature, or experience them yourself exploring creation. In some way or another, you love these stories and the reason is that, ultimately, they reflect God's story. We see similar stories in the epic narrative of the Bible and throughout history.
Think about it - we have David vs Goliath (which I guarantee will be brought up at least once during March Madness). Or how about Israel’s thrilling escape from Egypt, or the heroic judges who saved God's people like Deborah, Gideon and Samson? What about Paul’s missionary journeys in the book of Acts? This is just a short list of the incredible stories contained in God’s Word.
So next time you pick up the Bible to read, don’t just go through the familiar motions. Don’t fall into the trap of just reading a portion of God’s Word simply because you are supposed to. Allow yourself to be caught up in the stories! And as the drama unfolds, you’ll be able to see that the common thread of God’s faithfulness and love for us are woven into every story we read.