Remember what matters

It’s kind of ironic that the end of football season always falls around Thanksgiving. It’s at the end of football season that a lot of people end up frustrated and upset at how their team’s season ended.

People in the South love their college football. And they are very invested in the success of their football teams. I’ll be the first to admit it happens to me too. A bad loss by one of my teams can wreck my entire day.

Thanksgiving week also means rivalry week for most football teams. And for a lot of teams it is also the last game of the regular season. Unless your team is one of the lucky ones to go to a bowl game or the playoffs, Thanksgiving week marks the end of football season and the beginning of the long wait until next season.

Thanksgiving is a time when we should be thankful for what we have, but oftentimes it can be overshadowed by your team’s rivalry game, the end of the season, your desire for your team to make it to the postseason and devastating losses.

It’s not easy but I challenge all of you to focus on what’s really important this holiday season.

Instead of being angry at a coach or a group of young boys because they lost a football game, be grateful for the friends and family surrounding you and be thankful that we have a God who loves us enough to send His only son to die for us so we can spend forever in heaven with Him.

Instead of putting all your passion into how many touchdowns the quarterback throws or how many sacks the defense forces, be passionate about spending time with loved ones. Be passionate about sharing the joy of Christ with those that do not know Him.

I’m not saying that football is bad or that it’s wrong to enjoy the game. I love football as much as the next person. And I love basketball and baseball. And I’m just as guilty about placing too much value in sports as everyone else.

What I am saying is that we shouldn’t invest so much of our heart and passion into something so trivial. It’s fun to enjoy football but we need to learn to handle loss with grace. We shouldn’t threaten players who don’t perform to the best of their abilities. We shouldn’t let a loss ruin our day or ruin our attitude. Those things aren’t important.

It’s important that we show our family that we love them. It’s important that we spend time with our friends and nurture those relationships. It’s important that we remember to be thankful for everything God has given us and for everything Jesus did for us.

We don’t need to put our hope in a football team because all of our hope should be in Christ. Whether your team wins or losses in the coming weeks don’t forget who holds the world in His hands.

Instead of throwing a Nerf football at the TV when the quarterback throws an interception or storming out of the room as the time on the clock ticks down to zero with your team down 14 points, stop and remember that no matter who won that football game, Jesus was victorious over death.

The flipside is just as true. Your team doing well shouldn’t overshadow what really matters. You shouldn’t be so consumed with your team’s victories and a chance to win a championship that you forget where our real joy comes from. Football season doesn’t matter. What matters is what Jesus did on the cross for us. He has won the victory. He is the ultimate national champion and no will defeat Him. He will remain undefeated year after year.

Jessica Ingram

Jessica Ingram is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is the event coordinator for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

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