“IT’S BASKETBALL TIME IN THE BLUEGRASS!!!!!”
It happened every time, without fail. My father would run up the stairs with purpose and pounding. He would gather us in the kitchen as he always did before the Wildcats were about to shoot some hoops.
My 6 foot 3 Dad would bend his knees and hunch down to our level and softly, but firmly ask, “Do you know what time it is?” and then as quick as he asked he would jump up in the air, excitement oozing out of his body, and he would scream as if he were announcing it to the whole world, “IT’S BAAAAAAAASKETBAAAAAAAALL TIIIIIME IN THE BLUEGRASS!”
Then he would run back downstairs. Plop down on his lucky chair and prepare his anxious heart for another round of Big Blue basketball.
Kentucky basketball is like a religion in our house. And I don’t say that lightly. I grew up knowing Jesus Loves Me just as well as I did the motions to the C-A-T-S cheer. A long-standing tradition of the Clevinger crew.
But seeing my Dad get so excited to experience something with me by his side taught me more than he probably ever intended. Yes, my Dad loves watching UK basketball. He knows all the players from every year. He memorizes all of their stats, and he could, and would without a doubt, win any Kentucky basketball trivia game out there. He is their #1 fan.
But more than my Dad loves watching UK basketball, he loves watching it with us-his family. He enjoys being together. Experiencing a shared passion. It may seem silly, but to my family bleeding blue is no funny matter. At the end of the day the Wildcats bring us together. We couldn’t always guarantee a win or a good game, but we could guarantee it would unite us in some manner. Whether thousands of miles apart or huddled together on the basement couch, if we’re watching UK play, we’re with each other.
And in the midst of my Kentucky training, my father taught me something even sweeter than screaming C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS! He gave me a tangible example of unity between a daughter and a father. A unity that has no space limitation. No expectation outside of showing up. And through it I always find joy, no matter the outcome. Because we share a love for something together.
Which is a perfect metaphor for me and my Heavenly Father. I am unified to Him through Christ. Our unity has no space limitation. I can experience Him no matter the location. The only expectation to our unity is me showing up to spend time with Him. To get to know Him. To talk to Him. And through this unity I find joy, no matter the good days or the bad days, because we both share a love for Jesus. His Son, my Savior, unites us together in love!
In the middle of what seems like such an ordinary life, we can always find the extraordinary with Jesus. Whether it’s in basketball, cooking, or playing an instrument, He’s there tied to some metaphor we can use to further understand the great mystery that is our Lord.
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