Since my husband’s release from the Packers in November, life’s routine as we knew it came to a complete halt. After having a system of doing things for 9 years, (over 20, counting Kabeer’s “pre-NFL” years) it has been quite an adjustment period! Everything has been affected! Just in terms of schedule alone, so much has been rearranged — from the time we go to bed, to the time we eat, to who takes the boys to school, to the weekend’s plan, to the way we now view holidays, etc. In many ways it has been exciting and somewhat freeing, and in other ways it’s been equally as challenging. Now that we are sensing more clearly what God is doing in this next phase of our lives, it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of what a new “normal” will look like! (That is, until He throws another change our way!)
This all actually leads me into the next topic of discussion. A question that I came across recently was this: “Does God really care about sports?” (Or in our case, “…football?”) To my surprise most people’s response to that question was a quick no. Well, as we experience the transition out of football, I have built up a strong urge to comment on that common response! First of all, the Bible says “to cast ALL your cares on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) According to that verse alone, the answer is quite clear that God does care about football, because we cared about it! But just for argument’s sake let me continue.
To the general population, football is just a means of weekend entertainment. To those that are in it, it is a whole different beast! In more ways than we know, God has used football to impact our lives, impact our finances, impact our relationships with others, and most importantly impact our relationship with Him. Through all the ups and downs that have come with this sport, we’ve established a reliance on God that can’t be shaken.
In a condensed version of the real thing, let me give you a taste of how God used the game of football to affect one man for His purpose, for His pleasure and for His glory.
God used football to take a young boy from the comforts of his family to college and eventually to the Pros where his nerdy self-image would enter a complete makeover. Fame and fortune became a fast friend to a boy who was once a stranger to both of them.
God used the game of football to show this boy that money, prestige, and worldly greatness were at his disposal. Yet, in all that he had experienced up to that point, the “high life” wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.
God used the game of football to show this growing young man that money wasn’t everything- that it couldn’t buy happiness and that it brought about pressures he had never faced before. Through football he saw that all his worldly treasures meant nothing in the end and life, in and of itself, was rather meaningless.
God used the game of football to introduce him to a God-fearing man; different than any he had ever met. Through this man, he saw integrity, respect, a husband who loved his wife, a father who raised his children well, and a man who lived for something beyond himself. It was here where a spark was ignited and a hunger for something more took root in his heart. Through football and through one godly example, this young man was introduced to Jesus.
God used the game of football to show him who Jesus was, that the Word is Truth, and that He was still in the business of performing miracles. He used the game of football to humble this young man, to bring him to his knees, to bring him to a crossroads to choose life or death. Through football this man chose life by saying yes to Jesus.
God used the game of football to transform a young boy into a man — a man after God’s own heart, and a man hungry to share Jesus with whomever he encountered. Through football God gave this man a platform to reach out not only to listening fans but also to challenge a world of pride, fame and darkness; where men think they are invincible and where the love of money deceives.
And now even as football comes to an end in this one man’s life, the seeds have been planted and will continue to reap a harvest for the Kingdom of Heaven. Outside of football, God will continue to use this man, my husband, as a mouthpiece to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Inside of football, God will bring other men to their knees and to that same crossroads, bringing about something great once again– for His purpose, for His pleasure and for His glory.