Monday, February 07, 2011

So your team lost the Super Bowl...

First of all, congratulations to the Green Bay Packers and their fans...especially to my cousins Amy and Hiter who were fans for years before this season. I hope you win many more Super Bowls but not at the expense of the Steelers again. :-) For those that don't know, I am a huge sports fan. I cheer on my Steelers, Pitt Panthers, Penguins, and even Pirates whenever I can. I am most seriously a Steelers fan and love to cheer them on. After they just lost the Super Bowl, the common question is, "Are you disappointed?" That's a good question, so let's analyze it a bit more.

When I was younger when the Steelers lost I would be downtrodden for weeks. My family knew and expected me to be short, moping, easy to anger and lots of other things like I had just lost my best friend. Years ago I gained some perspective, some eternal perspective, and things changed. In fact when I went to the Super Bowl in Tampa to cheer on my Steelers in 2009 and they blew a lead and were losing late in the fourth quarter, I turned to my pal John and said "Even if they lose here this was worth it." What was worth it you might ask? The time spent with a friend, the adventure of traveling to Tampa, and the fun of cheering on my Pittsburgh Steelers. They won so no Steelers fan was disappointed. But this year they lost, so am I disappointed?

I decided to start by looking up the word disappointed. In the dictionary it was defined as "being sad because something failed to fulfill one's hopes." Well, then of course I am not disappointed. Sure, I want my team to win. I even will say that I hope they win. But my hopes aren't really tied up in a football game. There are much more serious matters that my hopes are tied up in. Life or death matters.

In my life I found myself hopeless for a while. I spent time meandering through life doing what I pleased me and what I realized is that each step I took down that path was a step farther away from what is now my eternal hope. Doing what I thought pleased me moved me further from God and the further I moved away from God the more miserable I truly was. The sin that I thought was pleasing me was really just making me more miserable. While I might have instantaneous pleasure in the moment, my lack of love and hope was really making me more miserable even if only seen when looking at my entire day, week, month, or year. What I didn't know is it was far worse than I knew - my life and lifestyle was leading me down a path to eternal separation from God. Thankfully we all have an opportunity to course correct and put our hopes, love, and desire in God through Christ crucified. I did this and my life has changed. I consistently feel God's love and have eternal hopes in Christ.

So, friends, I am not disappointed in the Steelers loss because even if they had won, it wouldn't have changed the things that really matter in my life. I am more concerned about another battle - a battle for the eternal lives of my friends and family. I worry that they will miss the opportunity to put their faith in Christ and live an eternal life with peace and love in their hearts. My hope is in Christ and I pray that my loved ones will also know Him.

Oh, and I think Troy Polamalu would approve this message. ;-)