As I’ve shared in a few places recently, both in big spaces like public worship, and also in private, I LOVE…(yes, all caps!)…LOVE March Madness! It is, in my way of thinking, one of the few unblemished arenas of athletic prowess and public competition. The Olympics are a close second, in my humble opinion. I know that some would be quick to debate with me on this fact, saying that the lackadaisical, passionless nature of professional sports has begun to leach down into collegiate athletics. I wouldn’t too hotly contest that point. Earning potential and scholarship considerations have certainly taken a toll on the desire of college athletes to win. But there is still nothing like the Madness!
And madness it is! Anything can happen! A team with the lowest seed, 16, can upset a #1 seed who has been highly touted as a potential champion. In 2015, my Michigan State Spartans were taken out in the first round by Middle Tennessee (who’s ever heard of Middle Tennessee? I wondered before the game. I know where it is now!). The Bradley Braves almost did the same thing this past weekend.
It drives people practically out of their minds! They’re passionate for their team. They yell at the TV (and the refs, who remain unwavering, despite their outbursts). They stand up from the couch, sometimes upending refreshments, when a buzzer-beating 3-pointer goes up, hoping that it goes in…or that it doesn’t! People are hungry, passionate for a win.
And God is passionate for us. He wants a win for us, a satisfying, long-lasting, wholesome win for us. It’s His greatest desire for us. But He also knows that we only find the deepest level of fulfillment, the greatest “win,” when His Kingdom comes in our lives. When it is vibrantly alive in our relationships. When our hearts beat in rhythm with His, passionate about the same things He so desperately desires for us and for all human beings. He is hungry for YOU!
And so a deep part of His nature, played out in your life, is a deep hunger for Him. His Word. For conversation with Him. For opportunities to serve sacrificially like He did on the cross. To give your life away to those around you, one tiny piece of attention at a time. To go into the places and spaces where the needs are the greatest. His passion, His hunger is for you, and for all. He wants your hunger to be for
Him and for all.
So, from one person who is eager and passionate about God’s Kingdom coming, to another, here’s my admonition to you: Stay hungry! Don’t get too settled or comfortable where you are! Be willing to listen to the voice of the Spirit, driving you to places He’s preparing for you. Find joy in the adventure of faith. I believe that God has put us together, this merry band of peculiar people (thanks again, Pastor Haney!), for a purpose. So let’s stay hungry! Here’s to passionately pursuing the Kingdom together…and everything God brings to us along the way.
Adventure is out there! Pastor Aaron