CORBIN — I know this is the month of December and we are just a couple weeks away from Christmas, but I must return to Nov. 30, 2013 of this year.
With all the Christmas music playing, the trees decorated, presents being wrapped for some, Christmas might have come early. When we look at history there are many who often ask the question, where would you when?
This question is often referenced to events like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Where were you when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969? Most were glued to a black & white television somewhere to see the history as it was recorded. The assassination attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan, just the numbers 9-11 cause people to reflect. These dates are important in American History and we should remember them for the significant they each represent.
In this column today I am writing about sports history. I am writing about Christmas coming in November 2013. Let me share a couple dates and test your memory. Where were you on March 28, 1992? It is difficult to not provide you the answer so close to the question while writing but this is the day that the University of Kentucky Wildcats were playing in the 1992 NCAA East Regional and loss the basketball game to Duke. Christian Laettner, I am pretty sure that some in the Big Blue Nation might even think I have just typed cuss words with his name. Alex Wolf who writes for Sports Illustrated described the BBN after this loss as in “mass post-traumatic stress disorder.” I think there are many still being treated personally. For University of Kentucky Football fans how about the date November 29, 2002. This is the moment that Kentucky Football was only 2 seconds away from defeating LSU at Commonwealth Stadium and that Hail Mary pass was thrown by LSU and the rest is history. The UK fans were already posed and ready to storm the field. The Kentucky Football Coach Guy Morris had been doused with a cooler of water celebrating the perceived win, but a win for Wildcats fans it would not be.
So what are you thinking when you see the date November 30, 2013? I am going to figure that sports fans are thinking already about that Alabama Auburn Football game. A field goal attempt that was returned for a touchdown, handing Alabama a defeat and Auburn the win of a lifetime against their in-state rival. I am pretty sure that for every Auburn fan in the world, Christmas came early this year! Nothing like Christmas in November! It is amazing how good we can feel when our sports teams win and how horrible we feel when a game we should have won is loss. Celebration to heartache in a matter of seconds is a roller coaster. Realizing that the time on the clock has expired and that there is not even one second left to attempt to correct an error or fix the situation can be so defeating in one’s spirit. “If only we could have,” is no doubt the expression of many in situations like these.
Christmas coming early is the discovery of a surprise. The unexpected happening. A moment you didn’t anticipate and a gift that you had not planned on receiving could be ways to appropriately describe an early Christmas as it relates to presents and gifts. For Christians we see Christmas as a gift too. The whole reason that Jesus was born was so that you and I could receive the gift of eternal life, which includes forgiveness of sins. When I was growing up singing in a choir, one of my favorite songs we sang was “Love Came Down at Christmas.” Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The moment of his birth had long been predicted throughout history in writing, since the beginning of time. The unique thing about Christmas is that it can come early. There is no need to wait to experience the gift of Christmas. You don’t have to wait until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. You can have Christmas any day of the year, at any hour, of any day too.
Sports fans want to win every game. They want their teams to go undefeated year after year. There are some teams that certainly do have winning seasons and years that teams do go undefeated. Those who participate in sports either as players or fans know that along with winning comes losing. There is one thing for certain. Christmas can come early for you to, all you have to do is ask Jesus Christ into your heart.