20 Mar The Madness of March
Buzzer beaters, upsets, office parties, and “one and done.” These are all commonly used language in early March as the annual NCAA Basketball Tournament begins. With sixty-four teams (and a couple of play-in games), play continues for three weekends until the Final Four fight down to one National Champion. The first weekend, when sixty-four teams get whittled down to the “Sweet Sixteen” is without a doubt the most engaging sports spectacle of the year! Just think of the fan base, bands, and followers of those institutions feverish with hope, only to see 75% of them lose and be eliminated in the space of four days.
I love to fill out my bracket and compete against others. I hope I will be able to predict the upsets as well as the teams which miraculously persevere to the end. Although I never win the prediction game, I have an equal chance every year, and I go into it thinking it will happen! In fact, that is the beauty of the spectacle itself. Any of the sixty-four teams could win it all, and be the National Champions. All year long, sports analysts try to tell us why one team is better than another and subjectively vote on their ranking. But all of those rankings and even the seeding in the tournament do not actually determine the champion. (NCAA Football, on the other hand, is permanently broken with subjectivity.) The champion at the end of three weekends is the one who took the floor, regardless of their rank or seed and played the game better than their opponent for six games straight. That is the only way a winner is determined. Every one, just like my bracket, has the opportunity to win!
At Grace Bible College, we work very hard to engage students in a quality education which is personal. Learning is important so we measure it and developing skills and a passion for serving the Lord in the church or in other vocational callings is why we do so. Many people believe (subjectively) that quality education only comes from Ivy League schools and is very expensive; therefore, a Christian, Bible-centered college our size must be lesser in quality. I do not believe that. We submit to the same accrediting standards as any large public university, and we continually pass! We hire credentialed professors, but only those with a strong testimony for Christ who will sign our doctrinal statement and have a heart for the fulfillment of our mission. Yes, each student at Grace can be used by God in monumental ways after graduation, and many of our students are. It is not our size or our location, but our calling by God to educate the next generation to be equipped spiritually, intellectually, morally, and responsibly that will yield great rewards into the future.
When we support and pray for Grace Bible College we are practicing a “multiplying investment.” Each student can multiply our investment again, and again, and again over their lifetime in the lives of others wherever God calls them to serve. That is an even better win than any national championship!
Ken Bruce Kemper