By Debra Whittington
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Timothy 1:8-9
Whether you are a fan of professional football or couldn’t care less about the sport, almost everyone knows the Super Bowl is right around the corner.
With the playoffs behind and the big day ahead, many people are already predicting the outcome of the game.
One thing is certain, there will be a winning team and there will be a losing team.
Growing up, football was a staple in our home with Daddy being a fanatic about the game. A fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I don’t think he ever missed one of their televised games. Looking back I think he always wished he could be a professional football player. He remembered fondly playing high school football but his size and athletic ability prevented him from pursuing it.
When my brother showed interest in football, Daddy was right behind him and encouraged him to play. Daddy even became an assistant coach in little league football and was at every game my brother played. He lived out his dream of football through my brother.
Going back to the Super Bowl, there is one thing that is a certainty. When the game is over, in the record books there will be one team that emerges as the winner while the other one will be known as the loser.
Still in so many ways they can both be counted as winners because they won a series of other games in order to even get to the Super Bowl.
They are also winners in my book because of all the preparations it took to even get to that point. Their winning season started years ago when they decided to play football. Before they could even play football they had to learn the rules of the game. Getting in shape, learning the plays, and finally practice, practice, and more practice were involved before a single game was ever played.
The average fan could care less how many countless hours went into practice or the bruises, sprains, or worse injuries the players endured. The fan only wants the team to win. It is so easy for the fan to sit in the bleachers or in front of their television set and decide how the game ought to be played.
They are the biggest critics when the game isn’t going well with all sorts of useful advice for the coaching staff. It is amazing at how suddenly they become experts of the game.
I am sure the players of the other teams will watch the game and wish they were a part of it. I think there are approximately eight teams who haven’t played in the Super Bowl and are hoping their chance will come next season.
They don’t let their past records deter them from trying once again.
As I find similarities with so many things in life as compared to spiritual matters, I saw some truths with football and the game of life. Each of us has a purpose on this earth, but not all of us are suited for the same purpose. Just as my Daddy had the desire to play football, he learned he would never attain that goal. The Lord had other plans for him.
It is certain that not everything will go as we plan and we will have plenty of losses or setbacks in our lives. In those times we need to remember that the Lord still has a plan for our lives that is unique for each of us. Each of us is called for a specific purpose just as the Apostle Paul told Timothy in Romans 8:28 when he said, “ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”.
We won’t always be in the limelight of victory with everything going our way. There will be those times of disappointment and hurt when we have to look ahead to the future. When we are criticized or hurting we can look to the Lord for help. In those times – when it seems we are on the loosing side – we need to keep on going. May we always remember we are living this life to glorify the Lord. It is those works we do for Him that really matters in this game called life.