He’s a football fan. He’s a fan of all sports, actually. And most of all, he loves his teams, and especially his Seattle teams. So you can imagine the emotions that ran through our home yesterday afternoon. Like everyone else in the country that was rooting for the Seahawks, most of the game was spent feeling disappointed. Because Seattle was struggling (to say the least). They were struggling. And making huge mistakes. And looking pretty ugly at times. They were letting down an entire stadium of fans, some of whom lost so much hope in them that they left the game early.
But then came the end of the fourth quarter. The Seahawks were down by 12. And you’ll have to pardon my lack of football knowledge when I write the following. (I’d like to blame it on my tenth grade Phys. Ed. teacher, who copied the football page out of an Encyclopedia Britannica and gave it to our class as a study guide. I went on to fail the football test and to this day have no clear idea how the game really works) Anyhow, there was some crazy on-side kick, and then a touchdown and a conversion and suddenly things were looking pretty good for the Seahawks. When Green Bay tied up the game and sent it into overtime, I was floored. And when the Seattle Seahawks got their game winning touchdown, it was pretty shocking, considering all that they had gone up against.
And I write all this, not because I’m considering taking up sports analyzing. It’s more so because I had thought about and kind of loved the great analogies that could be found from this particular playoff game.
Who doesn’t struggle at times? Who doesn’t fail? Who disappoints others who lose faith in them at times? Who wouldn’t love to give up, because the odds are just stacked so high?
But there are beautiful lessons that are learned in the struggle. There is redemption in those times that we fail. And even when others give up on us, we know that God loves us and never will.
And the biggest and most beautiful lesson of them all? The lesson of grace. I grew up Baptist and when I was little, I memorized grace as being an “undeserved gift.” And looking at how the Seahawks played, there was nothing deserving about their win. But they stuck with it. They persevered. And in the end, they got the gift of winning the game and heading to the Superbowl for the second year in a row. And as for me and our house, on Superbowl Sunday, we will head home from our Breakaway Youth Retreat and have a big old party to root for our favorite team, who will hopefully play in such a way that I don’t have to think up so many grace filled analogies.