Sunday, September 7, 2008

Death is an interesting thing.

Yesterday was without a doubt the most important day in the history of sports in El Paso, and one of the most important days in the history of the city of El Paso. The UT Austin Longhorns football team played and beat the UTEP Miners last night in what was the biggest event in El Paso's history.

And tonight - nobody seems to care. Coach Don Haskins passed away today and I've been glued to the news all afternoon since the news first broke. The funny thing is, I have barely heard anything about that game last night. KVIA ran a brief story about the game in the sports, but you could hear the deep, deep sorrow in the voice of the sportscaster. KVIA dedicated the whole newscast to Coach Haskins and several times throughout the broadcast, you could hear the voices of the reporters cracking and see their eyes turning red as they fought back the tears.

For 2 years, El Paso has been waiting for that game; all week long, El Paso has been counting down the days to the game. The UT Austin/UTEP game should have been the biggest topic in the news today - but right now, nobody really seems to really care. It's almost as if the game never even happened.

Let that soak in for a moment: the biggest event in the history of El Paso - and tonight it's almost like it never even happened.

Why? Because of a death.

I was not alive yet when President Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas or when his brother Robert Kennedy was killed in Los Angeles, so for a long time I just could not fully understand exactly why older generations were impacted the way they were. I could not understand why my mom would still get choked up when she talked about the Kennedy brothers.

Now tonight, I understand. I understand how the death of such a history-changing person can affect someone so deeply.

Wow. Death is such a funny thing, the power it can hold over a person, a people group, or even over a whole city. As I think about the passing of Don Haskins, as this community of El Paso, Texas is in mourning, I pray for Mary Haskins and her family.

But as I think about the magnitude of Coach Haskins' passing, I thank God that through Jesus Christ, those of u who are believer don't have to fear death. We can be sad, but hopeful. We can mourn, yet still be joyful. In God, through Christ Jesus, we can confidently echo 1 Corinthians 15:55 and say "Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?" We can know that for those who are in Christ, death is not the end but is a transition, a graduation if you will into life the way we were meant to live, with our Father God and our Lord and Savior and Friend Jesus Christ.

We'll miss you, coach.

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