I was reminded today of why I pay little attention to sports writers.
Having to listen to bias commentators during a game is bad enough, but sports writers have a keen ability to show the world that they are purely one trick ponies. ESPN’s writer Tim Keown is no exception. I am sure his article Auburn’s BCS win: Faith or coaching? made Auburn head coach Gene Chizik sick to his stomach.
I know it did mine. Truthfully, I was initially so mad that I had to walk away before I had to purchase a new Dell computer.
Then I realized that taking my theology from ESPN was about as bad as taking my politics form The Dixie Chicks.
Keown continually pokes fun at Chizik’s opening comments, “First of all, I can’t be more blessed to be part of a whole team like this. Man, God was with us.”
Unless I missed something else, this was the only reference the coach made to God. Yet Keown drones on and on about how Oregon should not even had shown up since it was a forgone divine conclusion that Auburn was going to win. He also asks that if coaching had so little to do with the win, then will Chizik actually cash the $600,000 bonus he gets for winning a national championship.
At the very least Chizik earned his payday. I am not an avid reader of Keown’s, but if this article is the best he can come up with at the end the entire college football season, then I would ask if he feels ok with cashing his paycheck.
To be fair, I understand that Keown was writing a little tongue-in-cheek. I get his attempt at humor. Despite his best effort to the contrary, he did ask a valid theological question.
Does God care who wins a college football game and does he influence decisions, plays, weather conditions, etc. to ensure that His pick wins?
The simple answer is, Yes!
God does care, if the great Creator of the universe takes the time to number the very hairs on your head. I would say He cares if those hairs are on the winning or losing side.
I would never suggest that God is simply manipulating games to preserve his perfect record at picking winners and losers, but rather that there are greater aspects of life that can be influenced by a simple win or loss.
Let me tell you a little story that may help to illustrate my point.
I know a guy who was a fairly decent wrestler in his high school days. His senior year he was being looked at by a few smaller colleges and even had a standing scholarship offer on the table. This young man was on his way to the state tournament after beating the #1 ranked wrestler at districts by no fewer than eight points.
He had a great tournament all the way up to the semi-finals. Then he lost by one point. He had to sit and watch the one he had beaten at districts go on to win the state title with a first round pin.
To say the least he was disappointed in himself, but that match could have quite literally changed his life.
He never did go on to wrestle at the college level, but instead a series of other life events lead him to a place where he would meet his wife, settle down, and lead a great life.
Now, had he won that match and go on to win the title would he still have met his wife? I don’t know. But I do know one thing for sure.
When I get to heaven I will be more than happy to thank God for letting me lose that match.
So to answer Keown’s questions, it does matter to God who wins and loses. God may not dictate the game, but He sure has a bigger plan in motion that involves every player on the field.