Keeping your Heart

October 9, 2007 | By | Add a Comment

May 22, 2007. That was the day things would change. It was the day of the NBA draft lottery where the order of the upcoming draft would be determined. As a miserable Celtics fan, I looked forward to this day for so long. They had been atrocious for the last 15 years and now they were going to get a stud. All those years of losing would make it worth it. The Celtics were going to get a top pick and would become relevant again!

They didn’t even need the number 1 pick (Oden). The number 2 pick would have worked just as well (Durant). There was about a 40% chance they would get the first or second pick. The worst they could do was 5th, but there was only a 12% chance of that happening. Things had been bad for so long that surely something good had to happen. I was optimistic. “Pumped and jacked” as old Patriots coach Pete Caroll would say. I took my study partner away from our preparation and headed to the breakroom at my workplace. The pre-lottery show went on forever and I was about to die with anticipation. Finally, things got rolling. The man at the podium started the countdown from 12 to 1. He announced:

14. Clippers
13. New Orleans…
6. Milwaukee
5. Boston

I couldn’t believe it! They only had a 12.4% chance of getting the #5 pick. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, the worst case scenario came true! My buddy tried to console me as we went back to studying, but how can you console someone who endured 15 years of his favorite team sucking and would now have to put up with another decade of rooting for a crappy team (see 1997 lottery/Tim Duncan). Over time, the Celtics had gone from being one of the most storied franchises in NBA history to being a joke. Celtic pride turned into Celtic embarrassment. I was never going to give up on my team, but, at the same time, it wears you out rooting for a team of losers every year. I was a cursed fan living a wretched existence. Things had changed. The Celtics were no longer good. They were bad. Very bad. And that was something I was just going to have to deal with.

Fast forward 4 months and everything has changed. In my mind, there was no hope for team, coach, players, franchise and organization. Danny Ainge somehow managed to pull one brilliant move after another out of his rear end. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are bonafide studs and have teamed up with Paul Pierce in the quest for Green17. The games have sold out and the Celtics are all over the news! Wow!

The Bible mentions a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. According to Mark, “she had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse” (Mark 5:26). I’m sure that after 12 years of suffering, she was ready to throw in the towel and give up. It’s easy to have faith for brief periods of time, but to suffer like that for 12 years… However, she saw Jesus and thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed”. The Bible notes that “Suddenly” her bleeding stopped and she was freed from her suffering. After 12 years, it all ended. All at once. Just like that.

Now, obviously my plight as a Celtics fan can’t compare with the suffering this woman had to endure. If the Celtics never won another game again, I still could live a very happy life. The point is, though, that there is hope for the future because in a moment everything can change. I’m sure that this woman felt her suffering would never end. In an instant though, it was gone. In the meantime, God carries us along and uses the pain and tears for His glory.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.2 Corinthians 4:16-18


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