Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Thank God for Iowa Football

Matt Chandler has said that getting emotionally involved with what 19-year-old boys do on a football field cannot be very helpful to him spiritually. After pondering that thought for a couple months, I think I would now have to respectfully disagree.

I don't think many would say it is wrong to get emotionally moved over a movie about a World War 2 hero who overcomes all odds to stay alive and see his loved ones. I would hope fewer would think it is unwise to become emotionally involved with one's spouse. Though emotional moments in this world may not always directly connect with our passion for God, they can and should move us to enjoy Christ more. They can and should point us to the grandeur and wonder of God in deeper ways. All of God's enjoyable gifts should be ones that allow our gaze to come back to the ultimate victory of the Savior and His amazing conquering passion on the cross which overcomes all foes.

With that in my mind I say, "Thank you God for football!" ... especially for the Iowa Hawkeyes this year. Though they are projected by many to lose on Saturday, it has been an emotional delight for me to see my old football team win, and keep winning. They are now 7-0 for the first time since 1985! Whereas in high school, this might have raised concern as a potential idol in my life, I now can enjoy Iowa's success and use it as a way to direct my gaze to the grand narrative of redemptive history - and future - in Christ. You see, I was made to get emotional over a hard fought win. It is not just the 19-year-old's story. It is my story. Through Christ, we are also defeating every foe, and it is not as a comfortable rich king in a palace - "through many tribulations you must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22) Through blood and sweat and tears, those in Christ will overcome - just like the Hawkeyes. So again I say, "Thank you God for Iowa football". It points me to You and it points me to the story that You have put me on. I have need of endurance and of stamina and of perseverance. I too will overcome. I too will have the victory. But this victory has no next year. It is an eternal victory in Christ! Wow. Thank you God so so much.

Win or lose from here on out, the Iowa football team has already done much for me spiritually. And even if football isn't your thing, may we use all good things to point us to the giver and to the reason behind it all. But for those of you who live in Iowa, or are from Iowa, you may just enjoy this little highlight film.

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