Super Bowl and eyes on the Prize

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Today’s big game is being played less than an hour from my house, so although a lot of people all over the country are talking about the Super Bowl, everyone’s talking about it here. I know the 2 teams playing, where they are playing, and when. Anyone tries to engage me further and they’ll be met with a blank stare.

I can’t pretend I’m a football enthusiast. Not that I’m a football hater or anything, I just don’t get excited about the game. Neither of my parents are football fans, so I didn’t grow up watching it or learning its intricate rules. I don’t understand the plays and I certainly can’t understand why there’s so much starting and stopping, for crying out loud. I guess I’m just a distracted personality. It’s simply too much to ask that I stay interested in a game that has so many guys on the field at the same time, all of them running around for a few seconds, until a whistle blows and they all stop. Who can follow that much commotion? In my most earnest effort to sit for a game, I’m lost within the first few minutes. It’s a lot like the times I volunteered in my children’s kindergarten classrooms – after about 15 minutes of the sensory overload, I’m ready to run away and take a nap.

My husband watches football, but he doesn’t seem to require my company. I wear my Tampa Bay Buccaneers t-shirt on occasion and I very loosely keep tabs on whether they are enjoying a winning year or suffering the losing kind. It’s usually the losing kind. For the majority of my life, my football ignorance hasn’t disturbed a thing. Then I had a son and everything changed, because wouldn’t you know, my son plays football. And he loves it.

Now for a short while, my son didn’t seem to notice that I had no clue what was going on during his games. I would just smile and clap periodically and he would play and get his game on, happy his parents were on the sidelines. It wasn’t long though before he figured out my football oblivion, probably when he started saying things like, ‘pick 6’ and ‘interception’. And it’s hard to hide your disinterest in the sport when you spend most of the game talking to other parents or watching the birds. I was busted.

Last Saturday my husband wasn’t able to go to our son’s game so it was all on me. I didn’t want to miss anything and disappoint my son, so instead of trying to be a spectator of the game – inevitably losing interest – I became a spectator of my son. I kept my eyes locked on him the whole time and because of this, I saw him beat his record by scoring 2 touchdowns. More importantly, he knew I saw him, because when he looked over at me, I was looking right back at him, smiling.

Our love for Jesus is best told in the stories of our obedience to Him. That’s what faith is. But when we focus on the obedience, when we focus on the steps of faith, when we focus on the doing or the knowing, we have a misplaced focus. The focus should always be on Jesus, who He is, and His ability to perfect our faith. We are capable of nothing on our own. Our faith life isn’t about steps we take for Jesus, it’s about our walk with Jesus; eyes locked on Him, as if nothing else is going on. Remember the story of Peter walking on water? He wasn’t drowning until he looked away from his Savior.

If your life is anything like mine, you’re surrounded by distractions and even our most worthy pursuits can quickly take our eyes off Jesus. A little coaching advice: Don’t focus on your love for Jesus, stay focused on Jesus. Eyes on the Prize. In His strength, focused on Him, you can tackle anything.

Game on!



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