A few weeks ago our school’s basketball team played their final game of the season. It was one-and-done time in the district tourney and we were done. The team had a incredible run, setting a school record for wins and beating some great teams, so it was a bit emotional to see it come to an end. That and the fact that team had seven seniors playing in their last game.
They sat on the bench in tears watching the final minutes tick down. But it wasn’t the loss of that one game they were mourning. They were mourning the end of a season and, in some ways, the end of High School. When they came out of the locker room the tears had spread to the entire team and they were all crying and hugging the seniors.
I was smiling. Not because I was making fun of them but because I know something they don’t know yet. It only gets better from here. They were mourning the loss of something that was very important to them and I remember feeling the same way my senior year. Little did I know that something even better was waiting. I leaned in and whispered to my wife, “If they only knew how much better it gets from here.”
I wonder if God sometimes looks at our grief in the same way. He smiles at our tears. Not because he’s insensitive to our hurt but simply because he knows something even better awaits. We stubbornly cling to this life as if we’ll never have deeper friendships or better times than here. Not unlike my adopted son who refused to let go of the orphanage worker while his parents stood with open arms waiting to take him home.
He was crying at the loss of his old life. We were smiling. If he only knew…