My favorite sport is football. I have many fond memories of sitting on my dad’s lap watching the 49ers play while my mom made lunch on Sunday afternoons (he’s originally from San Jose, so for a bit after moving to Massachusetts he’d cheer on the 49ers). He’d cheer and I’d cheer. He’s grunt then I’d grunt. As I watched, I learned the ins and outs of the game. Interceptions, touchdowns, holding calls, fumbles, interference. You name it I learned it from my dad.
I have loved to watch the hard work that players put out on the field. The gut wrenching hits and effort and drive that pushes them through the next play. It always amazes me what they put their bodies through for an hour of play time for 17 weeks during the regular season, and then if they go to postseason they keep working.
Being a Massachusetts girl since I was five years old, I never had long lasting affections for the 49ers, however, I did really enjoy Joe Montana and followed him in Kansas City for a couple of seasons. (I even made my mom, one Saturday afternoon, sit through a playoff game and my dad wasn’t even home.) Anyway, my affections lie with the Patriots. Forever. I watched them lose while I grew up. We’d get so excited each time they were close to attending a Super Bowl or make it to a Super Bowl and then watched them lose. Terribly. Usually blowouts. 7 to 56 or something stupid like that, and then Monday morning, we’d all be bummed out and not want to talk about it. Then Belichick came along and so did Tom Brady and everyone knows the rest. They’ve been hot, with losses in between, ever since.
This past Sunday, I was sweating. We were streaming the game while we were driving home from the airport in Kansas City after a weekend in Seattle, and it was not going well. Then that fourth quarter happened and no one has ever seen anything like it before. It was simply amazing. From a score at half time of 3-28, the Patriots tied the score by the final seconds of the fourth quarter and forced overtime and won the game with a touchdown. It is more than amazing. It’s glorious. It’s exciting. I couldn’t sleep that night. I was so excited. It was the best game of all time.
Yesterday, while I was thinking about the ins and outs of the last quarter (no one in New England wants to talk about the first 3/4 of the game and neither do I), I thought, “Such amazing plays! Belichick is a genius! Brady is amazing! Edelman CAUGHT THAT BALL!!!! It was GLORIOUS!!!!” But then the Holy Spirit started to poke me. Jesus started to tap me on the shoulder. “I am glorious! I created those trees and that orange sunset that you look at while you cook dinner. I am the One who created the planets and hold them into space. I am the One who created each heart that fills the bodies on this Earth, and I died for them to give them Life and THAT, my beloved, is glorious!”
So often, we get caught up in the excitement of a human feat being accomplished, and as we should, but we so quickly forget the One who created this whole amazing place to begin with and who has given us the privilege to breathe in and out and to get excited for football games and babies being born, kids soccer games, to worship Him in the hardness of life and to appreciate the joys of living as well.
I get just as excited and passionate for my team as the next person, but I also cannot forget the One who deserves all the glory. The One who sent His Son to die for me. For us. The One who is the balm to our souls and hearts when they are far broken beyond all repair and the One who will forever keep us in his amazingly, gloriously tight grip.
Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
for great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are his sanctuary.