People often ask me why I like football so much. It is a valid question for I am female and involved in Women’s Ministry…shouldn’t I love shoe shopping instead?? At first I didn’t think it strange that I had this love but I must admit my conversations concerning the last SEC or NFL playoff game with other women tend to be very short. When I try to talk to men, they just look at me like I am sporting one eye in the middle of my forehead! It could be a very lonely existence but God has been gracious to give me one girlfriend who loves football as much as I do, so I don’t feel completely alone. This season, however, I began to ask myself the same question, “Why do I like football so much?” I often say because my daddy did…and he liked it but his favorite sport was World Federation Wrestling and (to the relief of all my family) I don’t follow that at all. So, why do I? It is not to support my husband because he really could care less…he will watch it with me but would rather watch Pawn Stars or Duck Dynasty! (a blog for another time!) I would like to think it is because I am supporting “my” team…but it really doesn’t matter who is playing…I get involved. Now, I LOVE the Saints which brings another dynamic into the mix… So, I went to my little quiet place where I contemplate the big things in life and asked myself, “Why?” Here is what I came up with!!
· I love that at the beginning of each game there is hope!! The scoreboard is even…the field is freshly painted and the crowds are cheering and hoping for a victory!! It is like the life God gives us through His Son! We start out each day with a clean slate and the hope that today we are going to win the race!!
· I love that like life, there is going to be opposition to getting to the goal line. It excites me to see the players pushing on to the goal without giving up. I used to love to watch Deuce McAllister carry an entire defensive line on top of him as he moved closer to the line that would bring a first down or a touchdown. I want to be that person…one who will push on…one who won’t give up when it gets hard.
· I love that even after a mistake (interception, fumble, or missed tackle) that the players come back out on the field and play like it never happened. This is where I really wish I could would learn the lesson because often in my life when I mess up (happens a lot!!) I just want to go to the sidelines and have a pity party…I want to just quit the game rather than go onto the next play. People like Drew Brees, who comes back every time, inspire me!
· I love it when my team wins!! But I also realize for that to happen another team must lose and believe me, I find myself feeling sorry for particular players on the other team who played their best and still lost! When I have victories in my life I want to shout it from the rooftops but I want to be aware that there are those who have fought hard and still their victory hasn’t come. I don’t want to be so consumed with my life that I forget those who are struggling to find some small victory…I want to urge them on to try again.
· Finally, I have learned that sometimes my team doesn’t win! (this year has been a great example of this lesson!!!) I often say, “Next year!” and I mean it. It is also like life…sometimes things don’t turn out like we thought it was going to at the start but God in His graciousness, gives us more games to play. I want to learn from my losses---not wallow in them. I want to become better because I learned what to do and what NOT to do next time! Most of all, I don’t want to just stop playing the game. Many of us do that when our losses become more than our victories…I feel like doing that but then I look at my Saints…who lost more games than they won even to the point of being called “the “aints!” The fans returned every year with hopes of a winning season time after time only to go home empty handed. But then came that year!!! We didn’t know what to do with win after win…then the playoffs…then the Super Bowl. Finally, we had a victory after years of defeat.
And after that big win life hit hard again and it starts all over because victories in this life are short-lived…and for many teams it is back to “next year!”
I guess that is why I love football…the hope that it can be better next time…if we listen to our Coach….work hard to prepare and don’t give up!! Paul said it best in Philippians 4:13 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. It is not about giving up….it is about pressing on toward the goal!!! I guess I just took that goal literally.
So this New Year, learn the lessons of football and Geaux Saints!!!!