On top of the ladder
I’ll always remember climbing the ladder to cut down the nets.
After the buzzer went off, I remember hugging all of our coaches and my Mom. Then I knew we had to gather as a team and pray. On the biggest stage we could have as a team, there was nothing we could do but surrender the moment to Him. It was so powerful to share that moment with my brothers who I love and care about way beyond basketball.
After we celebrated with family, friends, and the hundreds of loyal IWU fans, it was time to cut down the nets. I was the first to climb up the ladder and when I got to the top, I looked around and saw tons of people watching and taking pictures.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude to see so many people supporting me but to be honest, I felt out of place. I didn’t feel like I should be the one getting so much praise and recognition. Our team had achieved at the highest level but it all happened because we fell to our knees. I’ve learned that in my walk with the Lord I can only be elevated when I first fall to my knees. When I was on that ladder standing elevated above everybody I couldn't help but think of some of those times we had bowed before Him.
I remembered late the night before the national championship game when I got out of bed and heard a voice in the bathroom and found Jonny Marlin on his knees. He was pleading with the Lord, not for the game itself but to use him as he spoke to our Dad’s the following morning. I remembered Trevor Waite praying for our guys to be leaders in their relationships and families. I remembered Grant Zawadzki sending out texts of scripture he felt led to encourage us with. I remembered Ben loving prison inmates like Christ would.
As these thoughts flooded my mind on top of that ladder, I realized that it was only because of God’s faithfulness and answer to prayer that our team had been elevated as National Champs. One of the biggest lessons I learned this season is that this holds true in all areas of life. God elevates marriages, relationships, and families when they are surrendered in prayer. I can’t wait to see what else God elevates in my life and in the lives of my teammates because the prayers won’t stop even when the ball stops bouncing. It’s a lesson I will never forget.