I like sports because it provides a microcosm of human nature from which to draw spiritual or personal applications.
On the way home from church today, I listened to ESPN radio as they analyzed football teams and it got me thinking about two teams with very similar colors (red and yellow/gold) but very different seasons.
The San Francisco 49s were supposed to be a good team this year. They had a good defense, good coach, a good running game. But they stink. They’ve won one game this year (and lost 6). Not good for a team once expected to go to the playoffs. They had all the potential, but they can’t win.
On the other hand, you have this year’s Kansas City Chiefs. Yeah, if you’re like me, you may have forgotten that there is a pro team in Kansas City. But with the record of two times more wins than losses (4-2), they’re sitting on top of their division. (I hear you now. “Kansas City? Wait…what?”)
This situation reminds me of the verse in Ecclesiastes, “For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.” (9:4) Giving their long-suffering fans a taste of hope, KC is doggedly (haha) pursuing a playoff spot and they’re not even a very interesting team (much like the city). Poor San Fran., once NFL royalty and owners of five Lombardi trophies, is spiraling out of control with little possibility of a winning record.
God doesn’t always choose the people with the sheen of success and the promise of prosperity to do His will. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. He chooses the unknown and the unqualified to do things that are unforgettable.
Okay, so I took the Ecclesiastes verse out of context, but then again…if you read Ecclesiastes and want to see a lesson in vanity of vanities, the football fans in San Francisco could let you know what that means.
UPDATE: The 49s beat the Broncos today, so their record is now 2-6. Whoop-dee-doo.