The Ultimate Victory
Many of us have had the chance to be apart of championship teams or a team that had a great season. It is a special and memorable time for players and coaches. Something they will never forget. I remember the first championship I won as a head coach. It was such a great feeling to turn to my best-friend, shake hands on a job well done, share a bro-hug, and watch our players dogpile each other on the field at Principal Park. I remember feeling so overwhelmed at the experience. After the trophy presentation and some words as a team in the locker-room we all started streaming out of the clubhouse to waiting family members and friends.
The first people I noticed were my kids. There was my son who was 3 at the time looking through the glass on the door to try to find daddy. It was awesome to see him waiting there for me. After opening the door, I picked him up and started to cry. Then my daughter came as well. More crying. I know coaches and guys in particular try to have the macho exterior but I couldn’t help myself but to be in the moment and let my true feelings come out. After spending a few minutes with my daughter and son, my dad emerged through the crowd.
He was probably standing there watching me the whole time but I didn’t see him as I was so engulfed in emotion with my kids. We locked eyes, didn’t say a thing, started to hug. Before I knew it we were both crying. There was no doubt that my dad was so proud of our team and his son’s accomplishment as a coach. My dad had always been there for me to teach me the game of baseball at a young age, pitch me batting practice as I got older, hit me grounders or pop-flies. He took care of our field in high school and made it look magnificent. He supported me and my dream even when I didn’t deserve it. Trust me, there were plenty of those moments.
Looking back, I can’t recall many times my dad actually cried. I am not even sure if he cried much at his parents’ funerals. That makes this moment all that much more powerful. All that much more special to share with him. It was great for him to be there to witness it, come to BP with us before the games, be there to scout opponents with us, and get to know our players. We shared the journey. When we hugged and no words were spoken it was ok with me. None needed to be said. I felt all the time and effort he had invested in me at the moment and knew his love for me was incredible. He was and is a great dad. His love has endured many trials and struggles. But through it all it has been rock steady.
My dad and I shared a victory. A championship marks a time in your life you will never forget. Emotions ride high, memories that will be etched on your brain forever. We shared a special moment as well. The victory was just a chance for us to realize how much love my dad had for me. Even if we would have lost the game I know the chance for us to share that love would not have changed.
Although my Dad’s love for me was certainly evident during this time and throughout my life. There is someone else who loves me even more. In fact, knows me better than my dad. Loves me even more unconditionally than my dad. Wants what’s best for me even more than he does. Seems almost to good to be true? How could that be?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
That love comes from my heavenly father and Jesus. Although my Dad’s love is huge and felt immeasurable in that moment of victory. I assure you that God’s is bigger. John 3:16 is one of the most quotes bible verses and known by many people. Even those who are not believers or don’t attend church have heard it more than once. We have seen posters at football games, players write 3:16 on their taped up wrists, or even tattooed on their bodies. It is a great place to start to begin to try to wrap your head around the kind of God that wants to coach your life and wants you on his team.
I have to be straight to the point here. God sent his kid into the world to die. He knew exactly what he was doing and what the outcome would be. He is God. Of course he knew what the plan was and the purpose that Jesus would serve as a sacrifice for our sins and to win a victory over death. Let’s recap. God decided to have a Son, Jesus to be sent into the world, live for bit, become the model of perfection on earth but then be killed for his beliefs. It is mind blowing! It is still hard for me to wrap my head around.
I think at some point or another in our lives we have all said, “I love you so much I would die for you.” Maybe for our kids, parents, or very close friends that might be true. But would any of us be able to send our our flesh and blood to die and reverse the scenario?
Would we ever say, “I love you so much I am going to send you into the world to die for others.”?
It is so hard for me to even fathom. As a father I would lay my own life down for my kids or my wife but I could not do the reverse. It would be too difficult no matter what the reason or justification. I could not, would not, and is too hard to even imagine. This is why when John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world…” we all need to listen up. This is a game changer.
He is saying I love you so much that the one and only son of God, Jesus, would be given so that we may all be saved from death and will be able to play endless games of baseball, on the greenest grass, in the most pristine stadiums, sunshine and 75 degrees whenever we want in heaven. We love to win. We strive for greatness and championships are most teams’ goals at the beginning of the season but make no mistake the biggest victory has already occurred for me and for you. God has knocked it out of the park with the bases loaded to win the game and the title.
Jesus died on the cross for you and for me. It was the ultimate victory for all mankind. He laid down his life for all of mankind. No other victory can be more important than this one. Championships are amazing moments to be apart of but having a place in heaven is much more important and is available for anyone who wants to believe and be on the team. I am convinced that is the single most important decision anyone can make. Believing in God is a game changer. He provides the Ultimate Victory any of us will ever receive. He raised his victory flag for us.
I hope you enjoyed Easter Weekend with family and friends.