Clemson and Alabama – Why Both Teams are Winners and Why We are the Losers

footballI have to admit I didn’t watch the game between Clemson and Alabama. I had a lot going on so I was too busy to watch. I have various small projects and ventures working from home, so I was working on some of these things at the time. My sweet husband and a few of my children were watching, so I could hear them hollering and cheering during the game. I also saw loads of posts and articles, clips, etc. so I have gotten a general idea that the game was exciting and both teams put up an awesome fight.

I am not really a fan of either team, so I think I can be unbiased. Regardless of who won the game, it’s my humble opinion that both teams can be deemed “winners”. You’re probably wondering how that can be since in the treasured game of football there is clearly one winner and one loser. I’m writing about more than just a number on a scoreboard–I’m writing about faithful fans.

Both teams have players who will drop all commitments to watch and/or attend their games. People will skip church, family time, outings with friends, and even take off of work to support their team every time they play.

I wonder what this world would be like if people were willing to sacrifice those things to worship God in His house every time the doors were open instead of coming up with every excuse in the book why they need to skip church.  When I was growing up, I was taught that if you “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness all things will be added unto you”-Matthew 6:33.

In other words, if we live in faithfulness, obedience, and righteousness to God, then He will make sure we have everything we need. He’ll make sure there is food on the table, money in the budget, a job to return to, we will have rest, our children will get enough sleep and do well in school.  We don’t need to sacrifice our time with God in order to have all of these things. Instead, we need to stay faithfully committed to God and let Him take care of the rest.

I have to say my Facebook news feed was completely blown up by both Clemson and Alabama fans. They were so passionate and excited about their teams. It was great to see people holding their teams in such high esteem and love. People were cheering them on and fighting tooth and nail to defend their teams.

I wonder how God feels seeing people so fired up about football, but so lukewarm about Him. Every chance we get we find a reason to justify not standing up for Him. We compartmentalize our relationship with Him and our faith. We pull Him out and use Him when it’s convenient and benefits us, when we have a problem. But we are “die-hard” football fans, tried and true, and we proudly display that fact with bumper stickers, t-shirts, and our words and actions.

Shouldn’t we be die-hard Christians? What did our football teams ever really do for us? They’ve simply entertained us. God created us, sacrificed His one and only Son for us, and Jesus gave up Heaven and His very own life for us. I would say that deserves a whole lot more faithfulness than a football team. Yet we don’t give up our precious time for Him.

So Clemson, Alabama, and many other football teams are winners of the undying love of their fans. If they have our undying love, what does God have? He doesn’t have us and we surely don’t have Him.

That doesn’t mean God loses. After all, God is the ultimate victor whether we cheer Him on or not, whether we really want to be a faithful part of His team or not. God doesn’t want fans. He wants followers. Seems to me we are more faithful to our football teams than our own Heavenly Father. We are fair weather fans when it comes to our faith, and more importantly WE are the losers.

We lose because we distance ourselves from God. We lose because even though we aren’t ashamed of our football affiliation, but we are ashamed of having a relationship with God. We compromise what His Word for temporary conveniences and pleasures, but we don’t compromise our precious football time. We lose because we don’t step out in faith and seek Him first. We lose because we miss out on the most important game ever–a relationship and eternal life with God–the only One who truly loves us and deserves our praise. Sad, but true. The truth hurts, but I wonder if it really hurts enough to make a difference…