A TALE OF TWO THRILLERS

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40

The incredible season of our Varsity Girls Soccer Team came to an end last night in a regional final matchup on the road against Lakeland Christian School. After being down 1-0 throughout most of the game, Senior Makenzy Martin tied it up with a thrilling goal late, eventually forcing overtime halves and then penalty kicks to decide the contest. The first five PKs cancelled each other out, leading to sudden death kicks, with LCS coming out on top.

The game was an intense and spirit-filled affair; a pleasure to cheer on from the sidelines.

This great matchup came on the heels of an unbelievable comeback win against Academy of the Holy Names on Friday night – once again decided by penalty kicks. We won this struggle on Friday, and moved on. We lost the struggle last night, bringing the season to a close.

The emotional and gut-wrenching swings, both within each game, but also the outcome of each game, was palpable and moving. The sheer jubilation and glee in the wake of Friday night gave way to agony and tears on Tuesday night. As a fan, and specifically as a Chaplain to players and coaches that I have come to know and love, I could not help but swing with their emotions; riding the highs of triumph and the lows of defeat.

On the bus ride back from Lakeland last night, I was reminded just how vacillating life can be – the stark contrast between one bright sunny day and another day filled with clouds of gloom. I was also reminded of the nature of God – the One who remains steadfast through these peaks and valleys.

The unchangeable nature of God during times and seasons of varied human experiences can be a comfort to embrace and a firm foundation on which to stand. The winds may be strong and the tide may be rising, but the love of God never ceases. Likewise, the joys of achievement and the celebration of success may sometimes find us, but God’s love always remains.

Most often, this steady presence of God fades into the background – becoming out of sight and out of mind. We may wonder if God is even around, if even we stop long enough for consideration. This God may seem to hover, just above us, unnoticed, until we gaze upwards in a moment of reflection. We may have consigned this God to a box, garnishing the label, “for emergency use only.”

Nevertheless, God remains. Available. Present. Enduring. Like that soul-friend that picks up the conversation where it left off – no matter the time between. Or the attorney who remains on retainer, just a quick phone call away. Or that favorite song, with words deep in our hearts, that someday will find its way back onto the airwaves.

This long weekend was a testament to the big swings that soccer, high school athletics, and life can bring. But also, a witness to the ever-present God, adorning it all.


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Founded in 1960, Berkeley is an independent, Episcopal, college-preparatory day school located in Tampa, FL, for boys and girls in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12. Approximately 1,380 students gather here from the greater Tampa Bay area to form ONE Berkeley.