Friday, February 06, 2015
The Truth Behind the Super Bowl
Much has been said about "the play call" that caused Seattle to lose the Super Bowl last Sunday. It will likely continue to be discussed for a long time to come.
However, there is a story behind the story that must also be told.
Minutes after the Super Bowl game, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw the intercepted pass that caused the Patriots to win the game Seattle was one yard from winning, Tweeted how he really felt about things.
More on this in a moment.
But first, this...
Yesterday morning, I mentioned to our radio audience that President Obama had just concluded his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC and that what I was reading as I was live on the radio appeared to be very disappointing. It was.
The president told those in attendance regarding the terror being carried out by ISIS, "Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."
There is more. This is a report from Fox News. Many of his comments were a stand up defense of Islam, while putting down Christianity.
Earlier in the week---before the big game, Russell Wilson was asked by reporters about his legacy as a football player.
He said he would leave that to sports writers, but hoped he would be remembered as a winner.
He said, "In terms of my legacy off the field, I want to be a Christian man that helps lead and helps change people's lives and helps serve other people. It's not about me, you know. It's not about me and it's just about helping other people. So that's kind of where I keep my focus."
He told the reporters, "In terms of my faith, my faith is everything: God comes first, family and friends second and football comes third. I think when you keep it in that order, great things happen to you. You don't stress out about much."
"We all make mistakes or whatever, but we're football players. We're able to use our gifts," he said.
To a crowded press room he said, "For me, I'm able to use my gift to glorify God. That's what it's about for me."
Prior to the Super Bowl game, other players on both teams had shared their personal Christian faith and the importance of the Bible to them.
Matt Slater, the 29 year old Patriot wide receiver, said Romans 8:28 is a very important verse in his life.
This tells us he wants to follow the Lord and His purposes. It also tells us he believes in a sovereign God who is involved in our personal lives.
Slater says, "It's so hard to navigate the course of the day without looking into God's Word...It makes me feel better about the direction of my day and how I interact with other people."
Gregg Scruggs, a 24 year old Seahawk defensive end, didn't get to play because of a knee injury. But he says, "The Bible has helped me through a very difficult time of recovery from the injury."
He says he especially likes Matthew 6:33-34 which states, "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Scruggs says, "That's such a big statement to me in my life. I'm always thinking about where I'm going to go from injured reserve, how's my knee going to heal---Am I going to get better?"
"Everybody in this world is going through struggles," he says, "but as I walk in my struggle as everyone else does, there is something peaceful about reading the Bible."
Clint Gresham, a center on the Seahawks team says, "I get misty eyed just thinking about the times I've gone to the Word and I've actually had God speak to me. The Holy Spirit opened a verse in my heart that I've read over hundreds and hundreds of times, but just in that moment...poof."
Gresham says, "This is real, this is Jesus speaking directly to me in these situations in my life."
Seahawk Russell Okung says, "They say the Bible is a living Word. It's sharper than a two-edged sword. So when you read the Word for yourself and all that God is saying about you and what He wants to tell you, its great."
There's more, but the message is clear. These men playing at the highest level in their profession---in front of the world, want very badly to win.
However, there is something and Someone bigger than all that. Bigger and more important than a Super Bowl. And bigger than the events of each of our individual lives.
In a sense, every day is a kind of Super Bowl for all of us.
We have no promise of tomorrow. Life is fragile and uncertain, unless our focus is on something beyond the moment, the pressures and challenges of life can be devastating.
We don't know what life will throw at us---the challenges, the struggles, the reverses, the hurts, the losses, the disappointments---and yes, sometimes a victory.
But we know what these young men know. It is true that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
Don't fret about tomorrow. God is already there.
It is true that His Word is a light and lamp for our pathway. It is also true that God, through His Word speaks to us.
So how did these professional athletes---these Seahawks, handle the loss?
It was the Seahawk's young star quarterback Russell Wilson---the guy who threw the pass that was intercepted allowing the other team to win, who put it all in perspective.
A few minutes after the Super Bowl game he Tweeted this message to the world:
"I will love you, Oh Lord, my strength (Psalms 18:1 NKJV)."
Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed.