If you're like me, you love this time of the year. It's March Madness baby! I have to admit I enjoy making my picks and watching the games. There's nothing like seeing the little, no-name "Davids" of college basketball face the traditional, mighty "Goliaths" of the game. But all this "madness" got me thinking. Why do we love March Madness? Why do we love rooting for the underdog? What is it about this time of the year that gets us excited?
I believe that deep down all of us want to be great. There is something in us that desires to be great and do something great. Along with that, there's a desire to be part of something great. As a high school football player there was a huge desire in me to be great and to be a part of my team doing something great. Why? Where did that come from? And furthermore, why do I (and so many others) get so excited about the opportunity for an unknown, obscure team to defeat a high- ranked powerhouse team?
First, I believe God made us for greatness. Not greatness in man's eyes, but greatness in God's eyes. Greatness in man's eyes basically boils down to two main things: position and power. That's what the world deems as great. But in God's eyes, greatness is almost the polar opposite. We see this in the story of James and John and how Jesus responded to their selfish request to sit at his right hand in glory. He said to them, "whoever would be great among you (notice he wants us to be great) must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:43-45). Greatness in God's eyes boils down to two main things: being a servant and a slave. It's thinking of others as better than ourselves. And that of course begins with humility. Indeed, as C.J. Mahaney writes, "Humility is true greatness."
But why do we love the underdog? Why do we root for the little guy? I think it's because we see ourselves in the story of these cinderella teams. We identify with the "Davids" because we are weak in and of ourselves. Not many of us are naturally gifted to do great things. But all of us want to be a part of doing something great. And that's where we need to remember that it's not our great abilities that do great things for God and others, it's our faith in a great God to do great things for His glory!
So as we approach March Madness may we remember our calling. "For not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God" (1 Cor. 1:26-29).