Though the American football, you might think there is only one kind of football and that is not so, season is over it is still fresh in my mind. There are so many great lessons to be drawn from the Super Bowl 48 (SB48) champion team. Yea, you know the ones.
I think the next lesson has been reenforced this week in various ways. I noticed that “champions” are never satisfied. This first hit be as I was considering the losers of SB48. Looking at them after the game you would have thought they never made it to the playoffs instead of a multi-record breaking year.
Last year when the Seahawks lost to Atlanta one of the first reported comments was from Russell Wilson, the quarterback. He didn’t even make it off the field before he was looking forward to the coming season. This was one of the greatest almost-comebacks in the history of the NFL. The team was devastated, but Russell was merely disappointed. He didn’t dwell on the past, but sought to live in the moment with a healthy view toward the future. He was not satisfied with the ending of the season, but instead of letting it consume him, he chose to move forward with anticipation toward unfinished goals fueled a little bit more by the disappointment.
Jesus told us in Matthew 6:34 to “not worry about tomorrow”. I believe Jesus was teaching to be present now, and not future or past. But maybe the most important lesson Jesus was teaching is to not worry. I am driving at the point that we are to focus on the present with a healthy view of the future. God has the future and we can trust Him to manage it since we can’t anyway. But I don’t believe we are not to anticipate the future with healthy expectation.
James 4:13-17 has such great insight into proper perspective of time. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow and for sure next year, so we should never say we do. But this passage does not even imply, I don’t believe, not to have a future goal and that maybe even of being a “champion”.
The Broncos have every reason to be proud of their season and achievements, but loosing is not an acceptable option. I wrote never at first, but I do believer there are times to choose to loose. For example, when legal, to encourage the other player or team. We do this with our children and others when appropriate for a greater purpose. I read about the Biathlon Olympic hopeful Tracy Barnes who gave her spot on the team to her twin sister this year. There are times when we are to give our very lives for another – maybe the greatest form of choosing the other person’s victory.
Ok, I will try to focus. My ultimate conviction is that as a Christian I am to aim for a “championship faith”. 1 Corinthians 9:24 teaches that we are to aim to win. Jesus told us in Matthew 5:48 to “be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect”. James 1:2-4 teaches us the right perspective on “trials of many kinds” because the end result when we leave God in control is “lacking nothing”. We will not be perfect until we die physically and go to heaven. But it sure seems like Jesus taught we are never to be “satisfied”.
The Broncos were right in not being satisfied with the loss in the Super Bowl. To draw a non-perfect parallel, no Christian should be satisfied in their journey of faith. I believe I have noticed that actually the opposite is true. The more I grow in faith, the more I pursue obedience to God, the more I want to grow and be obedient. I get more and more “hungry” for God’s work in my life and through my life. I want more and more to please and love Him through obedience to His perfect will.
Ok, I will cut to the chase. I believe Jesus told us to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) because it is God’s will. It breaks my heart that for many years, as I served as a pastor, I really didn’t live this truth. I mostly went though the motions. In many ways I went with the flow of modern Christianity. There is a general problem, I believe, that saying I have become a Christian is the main goal. I don’t believe this is true. I believe salvation is the absolutely essential beginning point of becoming Jesus disciple maker (Matthew 28:18-20) = “spiritual champion”.
It seems crazy to stop here, but I must and unless the Lord comes back in the next few weeks I can continue. I look forward with anticipation (aka not satisfied) to sharing more while desiring that what I have written is God’s truth and not my own (aka not worrying).
Please add your convictions in a comment below.