Football is here again and along with it there will be references to deity. Players and fans will invoke His name when they win and when they lose. Some may even call their win… their catch… their comback… their kick… a “miracle.” So let’s ask a question… Does God Care Who Wins Football Games (Or any kind of athletic event for that matter)?
Perennial powerhouse Michigan was defeated by division 1-AA Appalachian State and this is being called the greatest upset in college football history (Was somebody praying for the field goal to be blocked? Was somebody praying the field goal would be made?). Hmmm. Notre Dame is a Catholic School… a priest blesses the team before every game… and they lost yesterday to Georgia Tech 33-3. Hmmm. Auburn pulled out a win against Kansas State in the last minutes of the game (Did anyone ask for God’s help?). Muscle Shoals beat Colbert County High School for the first time in six years in double overtime (Were there angels in the end zone?). Hmmm…
In 2003 ESPN2 contributor Greg Easterbrook wrote an article titled, “Divine Intervention.” You can read his article by clicking here. It is well worth reading. For my answer, I’d like to pull one comment from Mr. Easterbrook’s article. He wrote…
Assume for the sake of argument that there might be a divine purpose, hidden from us, in having the Lakers beat the Kings in the playoffs on that improbably last-second long-range three last season, or in any sports outcome…
The phrase I placed in bold italics is the whole crux of the matter for me. To affirm that God either IS or IS NOT involved in athletic contests is presumptuous of knowing the Divine mind, will, and purpose from the smallest detail to the greatest purpose. But to leave it at that would be a dodge so I’m going to try and muddle through a few thoughts.
The older I get, the more Isaiah 55:8-9 comes to my mind about everything in life… including football. It is written, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Does God get involved in who wins football games or are they so inconsequential that He doesn’t care or does He just help on a few plays here and there or does He control the whole game?
Comparatively speaking (God’s interests versus our interests), any and everything we think… do… or are involved in as human beings is meaningless to God. We are as insiginifigant to God as a speck of cosmic dust 100 trillion light years from earth is to us.
Think of it this way. Do you think President Bush cares what our plans are for Labor Day? Does the Governor have any concern about what we eat for dinner? Both men have things of much greater concern than our travel or dinner plans! Thus God… the creator of the universe… has greater concerns than who wins an athletic event.
That God would care about anything we do is an absolutely awesome thought! That He would even think about us at any time over anything is overwhelming! Yet it IS true! God DOES care!
As human parents care about what brings their toddler joy, so God cares about what brings us joy. As human parents are concerned about forming the character of their child, so God cares about making us holy. As human parents are involved in the lives of their children, so God is involved in the lives of His children.
I’m sure you would agree that everything effecting a human parent’s child is important to them. Likewise everything that effects God’s children is important to Him… no mater how small or inconsequential it may seem. And the reason is because of God’s great love!
Everything that happens to God’s children is important to Him. God has a purpose that is NOT hidden from us… which is conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
Now back to the question at hand, “Does God care who wins football games?” If that game… or even a single play in that game… has an effect on one of His children, God does take an interest in it! Not only does God take an interest in it… he may very well control what happens IN the game or in a single solitary play!
Does God care who wins football games? Only as much as He desires to have His name glorified. Only as much as He cares what happens in the lives of His children. Only as much as he desires to conform His children’s character into the image of Christ. Only as much as He desires to manifest His love by being involved in our lives to work all things for His glory and our ultimate good.
Does God care who wins football games? Ultimately you will have to decide. But before you do, I suggest you look back on your own life with a discerning eye. See if you cannot see the mighty hand of God at work… behind the scenes… between the lines… moving, preventing, causing, strengthening, helping, and causing… in all kinds of events (Not just football)
Maybe God is involved in our lives more than we realize. Maybe God causes losses as much as he brings about a win (Hmmm). Since in all likelihood God has children on BOTH teams… He has a purpose for those who lose as well as those who win! And His purpose is being worked out in both at the same time… in the same situation… in the same event.
Bottom line let’s keep this in mind… there are things a lot more important than making a catch… getting an extra point… or winning a football game. So maybe we need to put our priorities where they really need to be!