Life Lessons from Sports - Life is Not "Fair"

Life Lessons from Sports

Lesson #1 - Life Is Not “Fair”

Did you see it?  It happened in the Colts final game of the 2018 regular season. The Titans were driving late in the game when two players scuffled. Flags flew. The Titans were penalized 15 yards, killing the drive. Replays showed that the Colts player started the skirmish with a blow to the head. The officials only saw the retaliation by the Titan player. That hardly seemed right especially at such a critical point in the game.

We have all seen it happen or experienced it. I’m sure you have a story or two to share as well. Perhaps it was the phantom foul whistled against your team that handed the game to your opponent. Or, the intentional but unseen grab of your jersey by an opponent that took you out of the play. Or, the time keeper intentionally running several seconds off the clock leaving your team with only 2 seconds to get off a final shot. Or, the official who clearly seemed biased in favor of the other team. It happens at all levels of play. Just ask the Cardinals who arguably lost the 1985 World Series because of a missed call at first base in game 6 and then got hammered in game 7. Or the Pacers who lost crucial game 3 against the Knicks in the 1999 Eastern Conference finals because a referee wrongly allowed a continuation 3 point bucket plus a free throw. The referee even acknowledged his error following the game. These outcomes just don’t seem right. They can be so disheartening and sometimes infuriating, especially when they happen to me or my team!

Here is the deal. In many ways sports is a mini version of life. The same kind of things that happen in sports happen in life - including disasters and challenges. Just ask Joni Erickson Tada, an athletic teenager who became a quadriplegic as a result of a swimming accident. Or how about Tyler Trent, the well known Purdue student who succumbed to a rare form of cancer at age 20. Or Andrew Smith, the Covenant and Butler player who lost his battle with leukemia at age 23. Or Valentino Dixon who, after 27 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, was finally exonerated and released. And what about the hundreds of young veterans who are horribly maimed or disabled because they decided to serve their country.

Now, I am quick to tell you that I enjoy my life. The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful wife, fabulous children, and very special grandkids. And so much more. God is good! But, it is also true that there is no guarantee that my life will be free of failure and adversity. In fact, let’s just say it: My life is not always apple pie and ice cream. Some things happen that just don’t seem right. This is what I think “life is not fair” means. Many things don’t go the way I think they should. So, I need to accept that bad things will be part of my life. And I shouldn’t be shocked when they pop up at the worst possible time. So, maybe the person who first said, “Life isn’t fair, get over it.” knew what he was talking about!