As you know, I’m originally from Northeast Ohio and passionate about Cleveland sports.  This goes with the territory when your family had Cleveland Browns season tickets for 33 years.  Though my grandfather (Leon Doutrich) died in 2016 and you’ll never meet one of the most important people in my life, carrying on the legacy of Browns fandom (no matter how painful!) helps me keep Grandpa close.  Now maybe when you watch the Yankees or Red Sox (any of your favorite teams), you think about family members who made you a fan.  Or a coach who helped build up your self-esteem not just as an athlete, but more importantly, as a person.  Or attending your alma mater, enjoying games with friends.  Following a team through good times and bad can actually bring up many emotions and memories!

Now on Sunday, the Browns played AFC North division rival—the Steelers.  (Boo. Hiss.)  The game miraculously went into overtime . . . and ended with a tie.  One of my friends sent me a message soon after, “You cool if part of me hopes they go 0-0-16 this year?”  A family text message began to analyze the game.  And I spoke with my father on the phone later that night, “Well, a tie is not a loss” we philosophically discussed.  Yet, a tie is not a win either.  The last time the Cleveland Browns won a game was December 24th, 2016.  We Browns fans joked that it was one of the best Christmas presents that year!  So it’s been a while since our team has won a football game.  Yet, we keep the faith.

Sometimes we win.  Sometimes we lose.  And sometimes we settle for a tie.
Though we can persevere no matter what we’re facing in life with God by our sides.
As the Letter of James states, “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)  The testing can produce endurance, and the joy of a victory . . . one day . . . will be so sweet!

Oh, and go Browns!
Pastor Lauren 

(This Week’s Thoughts 9.13.18)