Before we get to March Madness, we’ll spend the next few weeks watching the bubble. We’ll hear about RPI, BPI, Power Conferences, Mid-Majors, the Last Four In, and the Last Four Out. It’s a nerve-wracking time for college coaches as they ask “Are win in or are we out?” Will the bubble burst?
BASKETBALL – Learning your fate.
I’ve experienced all of the possibilities. I’ve been with teams whose fate was already secured, with teams anxiously waiting to hear their name and then deliriously celebrating when it is announced, with teams hoping for a chance but settling for the consolation of the NIT, and with teams that couldn’t find a bubble anywhere they looked. In the end, however, you’re simply in or you’re out. There’s no means of appeal and there’s no video replay. You’re either in or you’re out.
Unfortunately for some coaches this year, being left out may mean that the bubble of a job is burst. So much focus is placed on the final result, that many quality coaches with sound philosophies who help young people grow through the sport of basketball will be looking for other means to support their families. So while we all watch with anticipation as the drama of the greatest spectacle in college sports unfolds, remember the hard realities that some coaches will face. Having been in that situation myself, I urge you to let those coaches know their efforts have been appreciated!
LIFE – Are you ready for the bubble?
Life presents us with plenty of bubble moments as well. How we handle those moments often defines who we are. When things don’t go your way, how do you handle it? Do you let a selection committee determine your true worth? Do you give up or do you re-focus your effort for the next time? When you come up short on a goal you’ve set can you redefine your goal and redirect your energy? Each year, many college teams readjust their sights when the NCAA bubble bursts and they’re directed to the NIT. Some will struggle to overcome disappointment and have a tough time. Others will find new motivation and embark on what can be a truly exciting, worthwhile march against top-level opponents. And other players and teams will use the sting of missing out on the post-season to redirect their focus to new challenges on and off the court. There will be plenty of times when you find yourself on the bubble and I hope you find yourself in more than you’re left out, but either way, find the good!
FAITH – Are you in or out?
While there are bubbles in basketball and bubbles in life, you won’t find a bubble when it comes to what happens after life. There’s no uncertainty. There’s no resume required. Your strength of schedule doesn’t matter and you don’t need a certain power index. You’re either with God or you’re not. You’re either in or you’re out as Jesus said (John 3:36)
36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
That’s good news, isn’t it? You don’t have to go through the anxiety of wondering if you’ve done enough to get in. God, through his mercy and grace, says you’re in if you believe. There’s no bubble about it!