I love college basketball. In fact, the NCAA tournament that is going on right now is probably my favorite sports event of the year. Along with that, I am a passionate Alabama Crimson Tide fan. So, as you can probably imagine, I was very disappointed when my team did not make the tournament field. But, why am I disappointed? Did Alabama deserve to be in the tournament? I believe I could make an intelligent argument either way. They have played wonderfully lately, including big wins against tournament teams. They won their division in the conference. They were playing their best basketball toward the end of the season. However, there were some weak performances on the schedule as well. Their computer rankings were poor. Did they deserve to be in the tournament? If you remove my passion, I could see it either way. So I am still left to ask, what is the primary source of my disappointment? I think I know what it is. Much of my disappointment is tied to teams that did get in! In the 68 team tournament field, I can list a significant number of teams that deserved it less than ‘Bama! How did they possibly “get in” over us? What did the “selection committee” miss that I see so clearly?
My disappointment is directly tied to my human perspective. It seems to be, basically, human nature to rate myself compared to you. It’s not just basketball tournaments. It is job interviews, yards, restaurants, dating, and the list goes on and on. In much of life, that is the best we can do. It’s what selection committees, contest judges and job interviewers have to do. Not everyone has the same “human” perspective. Sadly, many times we bring this same way of thinking into our spiritual lives. The Pharisee did it in Luke 18. He felt pretty good about himself, identifying all the good he was doing and his thankfulness that he was not like the Publican standing off to the side. Truthfully, though, God measures by a different standard. His standard has nothing to do with human competition and who does more and who is worse. Honestly, according to His standard, none of us are ever going to be “good enough.” We’ve all sinned and fallen short of His glory. God simplifies His standard for us in 1 Peter 2. He tells us His perfect Son, who became flesh and dwelt with us and was tempted like us, yet without sin, established the perfect example. He tells us our challenge is clear. Walk in the steps of My Son!
While I’ll always have a level of disappointment with the tournament, the job, the contest that got away. That’s just the way it is from a human perspective. Some times it goes like you want it, sometimes it doesn’t. But, there is never any reason for disappointment at the hand of the Great Judge He is. As I submit to Him, and walk in His steps, I have a place promised in a mansion, that is being built for me!