"without fail they should celebrate"
I saw an interesting headline in an issue of Sports Illustrated the other day. It was a few months old; I don't read them until the Apple of my Eye is done with them, so I'm hardly ever reading a current one.
I tell you all that so I can explain why I'm going to discuss college football, even though it's March, and I should be discussing college basketball, except that I find basketball boring, so that's probably not going to happen any time soon...
I should also tell you that I'm going to talk about USC and UCLA here, and that you can't live anywhere in southern/central California without taking sides in that debate. So for the record, here's where I stand on that incredibly important and controversial subject:
I really don't care one way or the other.
There. I said it. Truth be told, any time the topic comes up, I just try to carefully thread the needle between USC fans, and UCLA fans. I have friends on both sides, so I just smile and nod when there's any trash talk going on.
Okay, so the headline I saw was, "When Will USC Be Elite Again?" And I thought to myself, "Are they not elite?" I had no idea. The reason I thought they were an excellent athletic program with a winning football team is because of the pride of the fans. I see them on the local news when football season is in full swing, wearing their red and yellow (or maroon and gold, or cardinal and sunflower, or whatever the official colors are). I hear friends talking about which games they are going to, and about the tailgating they are going to be doing, and then I see their pictures on facebook, and they are having a wonderful time. Everyone looks so happy, I just assume the team is doing well.
And I realized that it doesn't matter to my friends that USC isn't "elite". They still enjoy the games and the team, and the experience. The thing is ~ and this is how I feel about baseball ~ it's not all about winning. My USC friends enjoy their Alma Mater's games, whether or not they win. (Although of course they'd prefer a win ~ especially over UCLA!) I myself can attend any baseball game and enjoy it, regardless of whether "my" team wins, and regardless of whether "my" team is even playing.
It's all in how you look at it. What's important to you? What's your standard of comparison? It's like those people who grew up poor, but didn't realize it. All they knew is that they were happy. And you can be happy ~ content ~ in any situation.
Or you can be unhappy. Your choice. How do you define success? What brings you pleasure or joy? You can always want more. Some people do, no matter what. But if you're only going to enjoy life when your team is winning, then you've got a lot of struggles ahead of you.
Embrace what's good. God's on His throne, and you belong to Him.
~ "In Your presence is fullness of joy" ~