The reason this time of the NCAA basketball season is called “March Madness” is because there are so many crazy story lines
happening all at once. There are 347 division one college basketball teams and these are (arguably) the best 68 in the NCAA. Only 1 of these 68 teams will win their final game of the season, and that will be the champs, crowned in a week’s time as the champs. Now I am only a casual fan of the NCAA basketball. I’m as likely to flip a coin to fill in my brackets as I am to think through who I want to win (I actually did 1 bracket each way this year, and have Marquette winning in both)
The tournament, has it all – gutty players playing through injury, teams dealing with injuries to star players, upsets, bad calls. In short, there are lots of reasons to watch, and lots of reasons to get excited. And then there are the buzzer-beaters. Those last second shots that determine the outcome of a particular game. We had one yesterday, a 3 pointer drained by Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, ending the season of the Iowa State Cyclones. Read about the Madness from “the Lantern” (Ohio State newspaper)
Aaron Craft is a Junior guard for the Buckeyes. And as you can read in this article from “The Lantern” Craft is a natural leader who is growing in his responsibilities to the team and in his faith in God. The article talks about how he got connected with Athletes in Action (AIA) on campus and how that keeps him grounded in the face of expectations for the basketball season. You can also read more about Craft in this article from Sports Spectrum Magazine.
I’ve read over and over again about people understanding who God is and who He is calling them to be through programs like these. It all starts with a bold faith and a willingness to share the message of Jesus unashamed and unafraid. There are lots of ways that society can look down on us or insult us because of our faith. But that doesn’t matter compared to what God can do through us when we are obedient. AIA, FCA, IVCF (InterVarsity Christian Fellowship) gives people a place to grow in their faith and boldness and it is changing lives! If you are looking to grow in your faith or boldness, maybe a group like this on your campus is worth checking out.
Both articles that I read about Craft and OSU basketball mentioned the players on the team that had graduated and moved on, leaving the program in the hands of the current team. It can be easy to sit back and let others lead – especially when they are good at what they do. But now the leadership is being passed on. Sometimes, we treat our faith like this. We sit back and watch what others are doing for a while, staying in the background. But the time will come when God asks us to step up and live out his purposes. Will you be ready? When the trials of life come, we will need Christ as OUR foundation so we aren’t destroyed. There are no sidelines in this game. God calls us all to action.