Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ugly and Beautiful

I watched the men's NCAA Basketball championship on Monday evening. Butler Bulldogs, from the smaller University against the Husky's of UCon - the bigger school, that had already won two championships in the past. I was pulling for those Bulldogs - I always seem to pick the underdog.(no pun intended.) In all the years I have watched Basketball it was the most remarkable display of bad shooting I have ever seen. Some are calling it the "ugliest" championship game ever. Just imagine that you battle the whole season to get to the big game and then for whatever reason you cannot make a shot. UCon did not play beautiful ball - they were just a bit better - made a few more shots.

What do we do when life is just ugly? We stumble, we fumble - we try but just cannot make it happen. Everything we do seems to bounce off the rim or go out of bounds - the harder we try the worse it gets.

I know a fellow who opened a business and for a couple of years he could do no wrong. He made boatloads of money - smooth sailing. Then things got ugly - he worked harder than ever, tried everything to make changes that would help - nothing worked. And it got ugly -people lost their jobs, he lost his business and even worse he lost his confidence that he could be successful.

I have had days, weeks, and even years that were not pretty. I would not wish those times on anybody but I do know that I learned some valuable lessons and skills during the times when every effort I made seem to flop. I learned that working hard does not always mean you will experience what we call success. In the ugly times I worked with great intensity and purpose but the results were very disappointing. I did learn the value of doing your best even when the visual results were not present. These were times to build character and learn survival skills.

Butler and UConn played ugly ball but they were the two teams that battled their way to the championship game, a place very few teams ever have the opportunity to play.

We often show the beauty of our commitment to do our best, when life is downright ugly.

And that is the beauty of it all!

"Everything is beautiful in its time." says the wisdom writer of Ecclesiastes.

Just thinking, Steve Yates