There is an illness that affects our society this time of year often called “March Madness.” It not only affects avid college basketball fans, but even those more casual fans get involved. The tournament designed to crown college basketball’s national champion seems to dominant our weekends through the month. After each of the 67 games of the tournament, interviews with coaches and players always occur and a common statement made is, “We left it all on the court. We just had nothing left to give by the end of the game.” This simply means that the players gave every ounce of energy and effort they could to win the game. They left nothing undone.
The concept of “leaving it all on the court” is also a good one for us to consider with our career, with our free time, and, overall, with our life. Erma Bombeck, an American humorist and author once said,
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” – Erma Bombeck
Leaving it all on the court can mean many different things, but, to me, it can be summed up with a few of these:
- Taking that trip you’ve always wanted to take
- Taking a risk by speaking up and saying what needs to be said despite the risks
- Speaking of risks, getting out of your comfort zone and doing something that makes you uneasy or uncomfortable
- Learning something new
- Taking that class, getting that certification, or taking that new job you’ve been hesitant to try
- Taking the initiative to make a new friend or to solidify an existing relationship
- Considering and using the talent God has given you that you have, so far, left sitting on the shelf
- Planning a vacation to someplace totally new
- Beginning something new that you have been avoiding (better diet, more exercise, more reading, less work)
- Re-examining what success looks like – Does it have to mean that next promotion, that new car, or a bigger office?
- Taking a day just to enjoy time with your spouse, your children, or your grandchildren
- Taking a huge plunge that you’ve been afraid to even consider, such as starting your own business, moving to another state, or retiring early
I think you get the picture. Basketball teams that play it safe, that pace themselves comfortably, and that fail to try something new seldom win big. Those that go all out all the time typically have greater success. And, individuals that live their lives so fully that, at the end, they have no regrets are happier, more fulfilled people. Are you playing it safe or do you need to pick up the pace in your own life?