I watched Super Bowl #50 last night.
I usually just watch for the commercials. It is fascinating — mind-boggling! — to see how companies advertise in the most expensive air time on the planet — $5.5 million per 30-second slot.
Last night was different.
It wasn’t “just another game” to me. One quarterback was (probably) ending his professional career. He was already considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time. His future induction into the Football Hall of Fame is assured.
A win last night would put him in a class by himself — the only NFL quarterback to ever win 200 games as a starter.
I was rooting for him. Not because of this latest accolade that would be “his alone.” But because I knew it wouldn’t be his alone… and he knew it, too. He knew it because he has already been in a “class by himself”… as Your beloved child.
Because You are his Savior.
“Yet to all who received [Jesus], to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
You love each of us as if we were Your only child. You have made each of us one-of-a-kind special, destined to make a one-of-a-kind difference in the world for You. In a sphere of influence You have given to no one else.
So I rooted for him — prayed for him — last night. Because I knew, if he won, he would use The Moment to honor You, Lord. And he did! I heard it with my own ears. So did tens of millions of people. And I rejoiced!
This morning, I couldn’t help but notice the mainstream media’s “after-the-fact” coverage. They accurately quoted him up to the moment he acknowledged You. They left that part out entirely, as if it had never happened. No surprise there.
I also couldn’t help but notice some bigger “lessons” in his career. Lessons especially important in the most recent, most difficult years. When he has been accused for both his performance and his character.
Lessons like: Great Start. Staying Power. Hard Work. Perseverance. Team Player. Taking Responsibility. Determined Struggle. Losing Well. Hanging On. Showing Up. Grace Under Fire. Suffering Strong. Pressing On.
Words I certainly hope will one day apply to me, Abba, as Your adopted daughter.
We are not all meant for — or made for — a national spotlight. Most of us will live our entire lives in relative anonymity. By Your design, Lord.
Because there is vital work everywhere… and only one Spotlight that really matters. One Name that is above every name, who has called each of us by name. To a lifetime of Success, for only one Reward worth having.
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
So that one day, we might hear You say: “Well done, good and faithful servant!… Come and share Your Master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)