Football season is upon us. I think of my high school Friday nights in fall–donuts, hot cider and pep club! This season may not mean much to some, but for others, it’s a time of camaraderie, tail-gating, visiting the old alma mater and cheering for the home team. My colleague, Tim Mitchinson, while he may indeed be a Chicago Bears fan, shares some aspects of the game that are universally cherished and less well known than touchdowns and end runs. Tim, writing for the August 24, 2017 edition of the Journal Star, highlights some “life lessons” from the game and the healing and protection that can be demonstrated through prayer–by players, coaches and fans. Enjoy! Here’s Tim:
Fall is coming, and for many of us, 16 weeks of wonderful competition (plus the playoffs) are about to begin — the NFL football season is almost here!
Why is it that so many of us love to watch football? I find football to be a living expression of spiritual qualities, such as the precision illustrated in a perfectly executed pass; the agility shown in a beautiful catch; and especially, the mental toughness carried out in a goal-line stand by a defensive line that stops an offense cold.
To me and many others, football is more than a game. It is full of life lessons for all of us, including the value of practice, the joy of teamwork, the importance of dedication, and the profitability of spiritual exercise.
Former Chicago Bear Bill Wade knows about these life lessons. In the book Sports and Faith by Bears co-owner Patrick McCaskey, Wade wrote, “We readily admit that the game of life is basically spiritual. As we play the game and learn our purpose, whether it be president of a bank, worker in a factory, secretary, or quarterback of a football team, we must exercise ourselves spiritually to win the battles of life.” Continuing in this vein, Wade identified prayer and reading the Bible as basic exercises that strengthened him spiritually….