I used to watch the World Series of Poker all the time (before I had kids and had nothing but time). Don’t ask me why, but something about a bunch of unknowns sitting around a table, everyone with a shot to win it all, fascinated me. When they go all in, the audience holds their collective breath during that big make-or-break moment. Some times they win big, and some times its just not in the cards…but one thing’s for sure, when it comes to poker, all you need is a chip, a chair, and a chance.
But it’s not just poker. Carrie Underwood stepped off the farm in 2005 to pursue a dream of becoming a musician, trying out for American Idol. Now the small town girl from Muskogee, Oklahoma (hardly the place one thinks of when they think fame and fortune) has a resume any artist would envy and has her name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She used her “chip”, snagged a “chair”, and took a chance. The rest is history.
March is the perfect time to take a chance. So much so that we’ve devoted an entire month to it - starting early with conference tournaments, continuing on with NCAA tournament seeding, and ending with the big dance itself. There’s plenty of room for those great moments that we look forward to every year. Those moments when the underdogs forget their “place” and are given a chip, a chair, and a chance. What happens next is why we watch…
Number 13 UC – Irvine hung in with the big boys and upset #4 Kansas State, winning by 6. Number 12s Murray State, Liberty, and Oregon all beat their #5 opponents in Marquette, Mississippi State, and Wisconsin (respectively). Minnesota was even on the right side on an upset for once, beating Louisville in spectacular fashion. Chip, chair, chance…
Its just fun! So fun that Zion decided to jump on the bandwagon this year too – having the staff and students fill out a bracket which was supposed to be a fun experience that was super light-hearted and not a big deal. Everyone expected Mr. M to run away with it, leaving us all in the dust. Little did we know Mr. M. would be tied for 4th place (after 2 rounds), igniting the inner competitors in the Moens and Rodmans who currently hold 6 of the top 10 spots with Jace Rodman (Kindergarten) holding the top spot with no signs of slowing down. Ask Mr. M. how he feels about trailing a kindergartener AND half his classroom…chip, chair, chance!
God loves an underdog too. The Bible is chock- full of underdog stories. Gideon, David, Moses, Daniel – they are everywhere. And it doesn’t stop there. Every day each of us go up against sin, death, and the power of the devil and every day we battle it out. On paper, we don’t stand a chance. Some days we pull off the upset, other days we get absolutely pummeled. But, the next day, God is in our corner, telling us we got this and that we can do it. He does this every single day without fail. I guess one could think of him as the best coach ever - quick to forget the mistakes and forever 100% invested in our potential and who we can become.
Duke can claim Zion Williamson and Gonzaga can claim Brandon Clarke, but God claims us - each and every one of us without fail and without hesitation! Every. Single. Day.
Chip. Chair. Chance.