I don’t make a habit of disagreeing with my boyfriend, Aaron Rodgers. I don’t usually agree with him either. Truthfully, I don’t spend too much time actually listening to anything he has to say. (That’s not true. I’m just kidding! He does a lot of good through charity and for children in particular, and he is much more than just a pretty face and a super-impressive throwing arm – though he is certainly both of those things as well…)
But he said something a little while ago which I just have to disagree with. He said, after the Packers lost to the Seahawks and said goodbye to their Super Bowl hopes, “I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome. He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.”
There’s nothing incredibly offensive there, as far as I’m concerned. He acknowledged God while also putting football in its proper perspective. But I think God does care about the outcome of a football game. Our mistake, I believe, is putting human-strength glasses on the Creator of the universe. I don’t know if God likes football or not, and I think Aaron was right at the heart of what he was saying. No, I don’t think God has tailgate parties or wears a big foam #1 finger on Sunday afternoons. Again, that’s human stuff. And I think Aaron was circling around the right idea when he said, “He cares about the people involved,” and I really do feel like I know what he was trying to say. (We’re tight like that…) But because God cares about the people involved, don’t you think he also cares about the outcome?
The challenge is to try and think like God, and none of us are capable of that. We can think only in human terms, and that leads us to think that if God cares about the outcome of a football game, it’s because he has an affinity for a particular team, or quarterback, or city, or stadium. But that’s why we care. We think no further than the Super Bowl. That’s the end game. Oh, I suppose if we are really invested, we may be thinking about next season – Will Peyton retire? Will the Rams build on the potential they showed this year? Will Tampa Bay even bother, or just take the year off? – but that’s about it. And even then, we think about how it all affects us. If Peyton retires, I will be sad. If the Rams don’t build on the potential, my husband will be sad. If Tampa Bay…well, sorry…I’ve got nothing there. Anyway, the point is, we think short-term and we think selfishly.
But imagine not only knowing but caring about how every touchdown, every injury, every final score, every Super Bowl affects every player, every fan, every coach, every person who couldn’t care less. And not only for this season, or next, but for all of eternity. The guy who meets his future wife at a Raiders game, the father and son who bond over their love for the Colts, the woman who agrees to go to the game with her husband if he goes to church with her. The guy who gets drunk because he’s upset his team lost, and then drives home, killing a family in a minivan on the way. The woman who is so happy her team won that she decides to call and share the moment with her dad, whom she hasn’t spoken to in years.
God cares about the outcome. Our mistake is believing that the outcome of a game is the outcome that matters.