Yesterday I was "practicing" one of my favorite "rituals:" watching college basketball on a Saturday afternoon. I was watching the Big East matchup between Butler and Georgetown. Butler has been a consistently good team in the recent past and Georgetown has been one of the more historic college basketball teams, but this was not the case. This game was hard to watch. The first thing I thought of was "Wow it is weird to see a Georgetown team this bad."
For those that follow college basketball, you might have similar thoughts about this college basketball season. There are a lot of historically good college basketball teams that are really bad this year. The 15/16 college basketball season has been filled with parity and has been an anomaly all year long. No one is great, so everyone is pretty good. If you have never bet on March Madness before, this is not the year to start. Predicting how the tournament will play out will be nearly impossible. It has been so hard to analyze. The best word for it is "weird."
Saturday night painted a different picture for the sport of basketball. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors, two of the top teams in the NBA, played one of the greatest regular season games in recent history, all topped off by a pull-up 35ft three-pointer by Steph Curry. The 15/16 NBA season has NO parity in it and is dominated by four teams. The Warriors, Cavilers, Thunder, and Spurs are the only teams (barring a miracle) that have a chance at winning the NBA Championship. The Warriors are the clear favorite, but the other three still have a chance. The NBA is consistent and the exact opposite of their college basketball brethren.
These two leagues can be broken down very simply this year
NCAA = Inconsistent
NBA = Consistent
The NBA's popularity has been on the rise this season, the NCAA's has not been, it has actually dropped significantly. In my young life, I have never seen one regular season basketball game talked about as much as Saturday night's Thunder vs. Warriors game. People love the Warriors this year because they know something good is going to happen when they watch them. People are struggling to watch college basketball because it is in disarray.
We as humans love consistency. We keep our morning routines. We have our days, weeks, and months planned out in dozens of calendars. We want to wake up in the morning and know what is going to happen that whole day. Roadblocks (Literally and figuratively) throw us into a tizzy.
Anytime inconsistency comes into human life, we lose our minds.
I am the worst at this. I had an assignment the other day that turned out to be a little longer than I thought and I freaked out. My mind was all over the place and the inconsistency that came with that assignment almost destroyed me.
That is an over exaggeration, but it was something I wasn't expecting. This is a very small-scale example, but there are very large and very real examples of the pain that comes with inconsistency in every single person.
We get mad at God when inconsistency comes into our lives. We expect God to keep our life consistent because He is constant, but that is not the case. There are countless verses in the Bible where God is telling us that we will have trouble.
John 16:33 ESV
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
1 Peter 2:21 ESV
"For to this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps."
Romans 12:2 ESV
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
God does not bring trouble to us, but he does not always stop it. The world brings trouble and inconsistency. We want God to fix all the uncertainty we deal with, but he is strengthening us. Refinement requires a fire, not a tanning booth. As it says in 1 Peter 2:2, we have been given an example to follow on how to live life, even with the speedbumps of life.
Jesus dealt with the most inconsistency of anyone to ever walk the earth. In one week he went from riding into Jerusalem to cheers to being crucified on the cross. He went from loved to hated. Christ was celebrated and persecuted, sometimes all during the same day. Jesus life was not linear. Looking to Christ is how we handle the inconsistency of life because He lived a life filled with them.
We want to control our lives and want things to stay consistent. Just like we want to know who is going to win the game, we want to know how are life is going to go. When things are not good, we see it as weird and when things are good, we get too comfortable. We need to praise God in the good and the bad and praise God for the consistencies and inconsistencies in our lives.