Does the NFL Have a Hold on You?

When the crisp autumn breezes combine with the rustling of leaves on the ground, many thoughts turn to one thing: football.

It has become America’s most popular sport, easily surpassing baseball and basketball. We passionately cheer on our teams at the high school, college and professional level. Americans spend a lot of money to get tickets, clothing or other merchandise of their favorite team. The NFL is predicted to make about $10 billion this year. $10 billion!

Emanuel has its own share of athletes, too. They are investing a lot of time and energy in practices and games. They play hard, and represent our school and Savior very well.

I love sports. I do wonder, though, if we take it too far sometimes. Here’s my thinking:

I am totally willing to sit for more than three hours and watch my team play football on a Saturday or Sunday. What, however, would be my attitude if our church services lasted the same length? I look forward to a big game between rival teams. I might even plan a little get-together to watch the game and enjoy it with friends. How often do I truly look forward to worship?

Clearly, priorities can get out of order.

Does this mean I love football more than I love my Savior? It’s easy to say, “no,” but it might be worthwhile to think a little deeper about the question. I might consider my dedication to my team and the proof of such dedication (time, energy, dollars, etc.). I might, then, compare that with the dedication shown to my Savior. I have been blindsided by a crushing blow. Have you?

Thankfully, God does not keep a record of our sins. He does not treat us as our sins deserve. He rejoices when we pray to him, when we worship him, and when we honor him - even during a football game! Most importantly, he forgives us - even when we screw up the priorities and place games in front of Him.

What a loving and forgiving God we serve!

Sports are fun - both to play and to watch. Use the gifts God gives to glorify Him, and thank Him that you are able to enjoy a hobby like watching your favorite team. God is truly great!