March Madness: You vs Your Opponent

By: Adrienne Reece

When I was in high school, like a lot of people, I was trying to find something and somewhere I belonged. I tried out for and participated in just about everything from show choir, to cheerleading, and eventually found a home in sports. My top two sports were softball and track but I also played around with soccer, cross country and even tried basketball for one season. Whether you were an athlete or not, you probably found yourself attending the different games, or meets whether for yourself or someone you knew, even if it was just as a social hangout.

Sports played a special role in my life and taught me lessons that I feel like wouldn’t have come any other way. They teach you discipline, teamwork, perseverance, and fairness just to name a few.

Now, if you’re married to or dating a sports fan, you are likely aware that March Madness is wrapping up just as the month of March is coming to a close. If you aren’t aware and to put it as simply as possible in very “feminine” terms; March Madness is a tournament held by college basketball teams to determine who is going to be the last team standing. The winning team gets bragging rights as the best college basketball team in the nation. This is equivalent to the NFLs Super Bowl, the NBA championship, the MLB World Series, or the Stanley Cup for Hockey.  A lot of preparation goes into these tournaments and each of the teams (and players) prepare all season and every game is an opportunity to show up putting their best foot forward but ultimately, there can only be one winner.

Similarly and whether you realize it or not, you are in a tournament as well. And just like the march madness tournament, there can only be one winner and your opponent (the devil) is playing for bragging rights, for keeps.

“And the Lord said Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you like wheat:”

Luke 22:31

Your opponent may be playing for keeps, but can I tell you something, you have the playbook and ALL the cheat codes! One thing that is unique about being apart of a track team is that although points are tallied as a team, each activity or category is individual. You can’t blame the “failures” on anyone else. Everyone literally runs their own race. Sound familiar?

“…and let us run with perseverance the race set before us,”

Hebrews 12:1

I can’t speak to your month, but I feel like the entire year has already happened. Just this month, I celebrated my 7 year wedding anniversary, then 3 days later, traveled to/spoke at Jalexus’ home-going celebration service; then impromptu planned an entire week of spring break activities for my 4 year old; then my husband and I accepted a new position as the young adult pastors of our church and our first service was this past weekend. All of this, just in the month of March and the month isn’t even over yet. This doesn’t even include different health challenges that both my husband and I have had to walk with each other through. Nor does it include different family dynamics that arose, or obligations from work. Talk about March Madness!

I don’t share this with you to boast or to gain pity, but more so to hopefully share and show you that you are not alone if you are feeling overwhelmed by the plate in front of you. I want to share with you, that in seasons like this, it is important to lean into the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) as well as your community. One thing that has helped me manage is to remember that I can only do what I can do. I do it with a pure heart and good attitude, and don’t allow anyone to make me feel guilty for what I cannot fulfill. Also, my sister, understand that “No” is truly a complete sentence. (I could truly write an entire article on this).

The Cheat Code

 The Bible gives us all of satans tricks and tactics. Can I share else something with you? You have an “unfair” advantage because of who your Coach is (and I’m not talking about a pastor or any other spiritual leader for that matter.) Because your opponent isn’t all seeing and all knowing, he isn’t original and he wasn’t given the gift of creativity like you and I were. He has had the same schemes since the garden. His only hope is that you don’t see him coming. But let me tell you, even if you don’t see him coming, God does and He has promised not to leave you or forsake you. But just like any coach in the natural, He can give you all the strategies in the world but ultimately you have to run your own race.

Your coach is coming from a place of wisdom and experience so while it may seem like He is silent in your most difficult seasons, its likely because He has already equipped you with everything you need to get through. I love being on God’s team because of the unfair advantage over our opponent. Imagine showing up to the game and the coaches and referees tell you that you’re going to walk away with the winning score, but you just need to play the other team for the sake of practicing. You’d show up different. More confident and less nervous. That’s how we should be showing up in this real life game. We truly have no reason to fear but every reason and opportunity for God to get the glory out of our lives.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in ME you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

As you wrap up this month of March Madness, know that the game is fixed. You will have tribulation, opposition, affliction, distress, persecution. BUT, BE OF GOOD CHEER! Because your coach not only has the playbook, He created and owns the playbook and nothing happens in or on this earth without His knowledge or allowance. Know that your opponent can only come but so far and that no matter who does or doesn’t show up in your life (to support you, to watch you play), that you WILL WIN every game according to the strategies and playbook that is backed by an undefeated track record and an undefeated Heaven.

One thought on “March Madness: You vs Your Opponent

  1. Ugh!! God’s “playbook” in the game of life is undefeated 🙌🏾! Come through with the fiery reminder that we have the advantage and that we leave with the winning score on the winning team! We have the strategies of an undefeated God! A whole Word sis. Love it! 👏🏾☺️❤️🔥


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