For those of you who know me, football is one of my favorite past times. Was it always something I enjoyed? No, probably because I went to a very small high school in Laupahoehoe, Hawaii, and we did not even have a football team! I didn’t watch one game on TV growing up, and it wasn’t until college, when I went on a date to a football game at Pacific University, that I really knew anything about the game. My date didn’t know what to think of me when I said to him, “What is the point of this game?” He said, “See the white post at the end of the field?” and I said “Yes.” He said, ”Our team in the black and red uniform is trying to get to the end of the field and score!” I said to him, “All I see is that they are constantly falling down!” This is a true story, but one that makes me laugh now!
Fast forward to our boys playing flag football in middle school and regular football in high school. I can remember being so excited for them and yet nervous at the same time, because I wanted them to do well but not get hurt. I wanted their team to win! I am not a silent spectator but one that loves to cheer at the game. Our kids did not go on to play in college, but somehow I got the “bug” for football and found myself watching college football on weekends. I truly love the game!
This past weekend my husband Doug and I went to our first game for the season at Oregon State. On the way, we talked about how much we enjoy the football season. There is something about the coolness in the weather and getting to dress in our orange and black color outfits! We even had some OSU flags on our car, not Doug’s favorite! We talked about how every team plays to win, but, unfortunately, there is a winner and a loser. This game was different in that we knew we were playing pastor Jay’s team, the Arizona Wildcats. We were not favored to win, but we were very hopeful. The band played, the cheerleaders cheered, we cheered, and the players played, but we lost! We can say it is just a game, but I find it hard at times not to be disappointed! But it is fun to engage in the competition of sports even on opposing teams right, Jay?
So, what spiritual insights can I draw from all of this?! Well, first of all, if you are a believer, you are on the winning team. Because in Christ we are all winners and there are no losers! Jesus Christ died on the cross and gave us the victory. Our focus is on Jesus Christ and he is our coach. We have the game book, the Bible, that has all the plays. We need to remember that we are all wearing the same jersey, and we need to be a good team player and cheer and encourage our teammates in their walk with Christ. The banner over our Jesus team is love, so we love each other and appreciate each other for the gifts and talents they bring to the team. Many times in a football game we focus on one or two players that make outstanding plays, but it really takes a whole team to win. In the same way, each of us make up the team that is reaching out to the world, and we need to work together as a team to accomplish this goal for the glory of God.
Come and join us at our home and enjoy a college football game sometime! Go Beavers!