Friday, January 30, 2015

God Of The Super Bowl

Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday!

And I couldn't care less.

Once I was an avid sports fan, especially regarding boxing and baseball. I would also take in the "big" football games. Now I find myself at that age when sleep is more important than following sports. I have a very stressful and physical job, and trust me, Super Bowl Sunday will find me chilling and enjoying my one day off from work, and in bed by 7 p.m.

But for many others, Sunday is a really big day. Some even think it is a big day for God.

Here I give a hat tip to my cyber buddy Bruce Gerencser. He recently posted about Seattle Seahawk's quarterback Russell Wilson's belief that God was responsible for the victory which got his team into the Super Bowl. I didn't get that from the quotes he provided. Actually, I was really having trouble thinking that anyone other than a hard-shell Calvinist could think such a thing.

He responded to my comment to assure me that he had followed Wilson's wearing of his religion on his sleeve and Wilson does indeed think God had an interest who wins football games. Having not followed Wilson myself, that was good enough for me. Prior to reading Bruce's post, I had no know who the Seahawk's quarterback is.

Now I have just read story that confirmed Gerencser's observation and obliterated any residual doubt I may have had about Wilson, or for that matter, that some folks actually do think God is the "12th man on the field," as Public Religion Research Institute president Robert Jones puts it. Link to this story is here.

Russell Wilson is quoted as saying: "I think God cares about football. I think God cares about everything he created."

I can sign on that.

In a recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute it was revealed that 53 percent of those surveyed believe God “rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success.”

While I have a problem with using the word reward in this connection, I can sign on the proposition that faith in God provides a performance boost for anyone performing in good faith.

Now that God predetermines everything, including the outcome of sporting events, is a proposition I can't put my name to. I'm not a fatalist and I don't believe God micromanages his creation. Of course I realize I could be mistaken, but that is the way I think about it.

My belief is that faith in God is dynamic. I don't believe faith guarantees never-failing success, wealth, health, or a long life. There are other factors involved, I believe, including our degree of participation, that is to say, our freewill. But I have come to believe in divine guidance. I believe in that inner voice.

I believe that faith can move mountains, as Jesus (IMHO) hyperbolically suggested. But that it is conditioned on our degree of participation. In the game of life I believe those who see the glass half-full have an up on the those who see it half-empty - not because of an old white-haired guy in the sky turning dials and adjusting knobs and levers, but because it is a spiritual law.

And I still couldn't care less about the Super Bowl....


  1. I've heard of the Super Bowl .... but you wouldn't expect me to care much about it either.

    I think the truth about God and sporting contests is somewhere between the two extremes. Sport has a big impact on people - players, supporters, media, etc - and I think God is definitely interested in people. So I think he is interested in sporting events, not necessarily because he cares who wins, but he does care about all the people who care who wins.

    I also think he sometimes answers prayers, though not always, so who knows if he doesn't somehow help sports people who pray?

    But I never pray for the team I follow to win. But they don't have a very good record, so maybe I should! :)

    1. Here the US the Super Bowl is the most watched television event of all times. So I'm a bit of an oddity, I suppose. For a long time I didn't pray at all. I didn't believe in a prayer answering God. Even now, once again praying, I personally find it distasteful to pray about trivialities.