Last Wednesday night, Davidson played its cross-county rival UNC Charlotte at home, in a chaotic, loud, crazy game. The teams were tied with a minute left, and the place was jolting. UNC Charlotte had the ball and dribbled it up the court. The red neon seconds counted down, and every set of lungs, young kids and old folks, black shirts and green shirts, tightened with tension. The yells and chants grew stronger, into a full-fledged, all-out roar, as we waited to see what would happen.
UNCC scored. Their fans shrieked with joy.
And I texted Jessie, whose red curls I could see halfway across the arena: I would never trade this.
We lost the game, yet I would never trade this. The chanting, the cheering, the community, the strength, the trust. Everyone who's ever read this blog knows that about me.
I stood in the middle of that moment, listening and looking and trying to simply exist within it, and I thought about existing within life, too. There are moments in life that look a lot like the end of that game: uncertain, taut with tension, fraught with excitement, and time won't slow down - and perhaps we'll feel like a loser or a winner if something does or doesn't happen. I feel like the lead-up to Christmas is a lot like this. Maybe thinking breath to breath, pass to pass, movement to movement, is best, even when we're flying down the court, trying to make the basket in time.
Maybe we need reminding that no matter how it goes, the buzzer will sound - and we will still be there, ready to shake hands with our opponents and get some rest. And God will follow us off the court, into the locker rooms, ready with fresh towels, full water bottles and a pat on the back.
I would never trade this.
God, guide our thinking and doing and being this Advent season; create calm and peace in the midst of chaos.