Just when you thought it was safe to look at your calendar again we learn that the world is ending again, this week. In fact, it seems that end time events are already in progression and that the passage of time is already slowing. By Monday evening, time will stop at precisely 7:30 PM, local time. About three hours later the world will have come to an end for a large number of people. For those, life will end and only a dark misery will remain which will govern their lives for the next nine months or so.
[END SARCASM HERE]
The madness over the Alabama – Notre Dame BCS National Football Championship is overwhelming. social media is full of references to the game as fans cheer their team. Folks will spend tens of millions of dollars on travel to Miami, accommodations, tickets to the game, celebrations, souvenirs and the like. Others will spend the next two days doing little but talking about the big game. To be sure, the game is exciting and the rewards of victory will be sweet. But really people, are we not a little upside down here. Have we ejected any sense of priority?
I love Alabama football. I once worked for the Alabama Football Radio Network flagship station. I covered coach Bryant, screened call-ins for Coach Perkins and watched games from the press box. I grew up with the gravel-like voice for coach Bryant on the television on Sunday afternoon and enjoyed my share of Coca-Cola and Golden Flake. But let’s be clear, there are far more important things than this game.
72,000 will be in attendance, 30 million will watch the game. Many, probably most, are lost (Matthew 7:13). Each face in the crowd and each person watching from homes or bars represents a single soul. Security at the game will be tight. Law enforcement will strive to assure the safety of each person there. Yet, destruction and eternal damnation awaits most of them (1 Thessalonians 1:5-12).
Many of us, your author included, have already begun to talk about the game. In fact, we talk about the game with complete strangers. Why then do we struggle to even mention Jesus to people we already know? The Great Commission is a charge to everyone of us (Matthew 28:18-20) but it is also a charge we often ignore. Each of us has the ability to instantly reach hundreds of our friends and associates yet we spend our time with posting silliness and sometimes coarse or profane language (Ephesians 5:4).
Let our goal be purity of life and faith (1 Peter 1:22). Let us rise with joy at the thought of golden streets and glorified bodies, not touchdowns and field goals. Football is not a sin. Enjoying a game is not a sin, but giving more glory to Nick Saban and Brian Kelly than we offer to God is wrong. I’m only suggesting that we recover our sense of priorities and return our Lord to the place of preeminence (Colossians 1:15-20). I’m suggesting a way forward in which we become as excited about Jesus as we are about football and maybe even more.
Enjoy the game but remember who you are and who you belong to. Seek first His kingdom and not some temporary football dynasty. Draw near to God (Hebrews 4:16, 25; James 4:8)!
Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.