The day of the big game has finally arrived. The #1 football team in the nation – the dynasty program with 3 out of the last 4 national championships – is visiting the home of the Heisman trophy winner. Forbes announced this week that tickets to the Alabama – A&M game are the most expensive regular season tickets in history. ESPN’s College Gameday is in town.
At the end of the day, Alabama may have revenge. A&M and Manziel may have vindication. As an Aggie, I crave that vindication.
This game is huge.
Over the last few days, as this game has drawn near, I’ve reflected more and more on the importance of sports in my life.
I love sports.
I love playing sports. I love watching sports. I love listening to sports radio. I love reading sports tweets and articles about sports.
I love coaching soccer. I love playing sports with my kids.
John Calvin, in his Institutes, is attributed with saying, “The human heart is a factory of idols…Everyone of us is, from his mother’s womb, expert in inventing idols.” The Apostle John warned in 1 John 5:21, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”
My heart is an idol factory. Far too often sports is an idol for me. Watching, playing, reading, etc gives me joy. Great joy.
Because I am an Aggie, a FC Dallas fan and a Cowboys fan, sports also give me despair. Great despair.
The evidence of sports idolatry is the capacity for sports to give me what only I should derive from my relationship with Jesus Christ.
This is not to say that I should only derive happiness from Christ. He gives good things – and I believe sports are one of those good things – to his creation. My hope is that I’ll end the day happy with what my team accomplished but not allowing the results to provide great joy or despair.