Were you one of the 111,000,000 viewers who watched the Super Bowl on Sunday? I was. Not a bad game. Of course, it would have been better had the Steelers won, but overall we were entertained.
Professional football is now a multi-billion dollar business. Gone are the days of leather helmets and crumbling stadiums! Let’s take a minute to peer into the reality of this football phenomenon.
As you read, please note that football is my favorite of all professional sports. I really do enjoy the games. My problem is that so many of us invest so much for such a small return.
How many hours of national media coverage do you suppose were devoted to Super Bowl XLV? How about local news time? How much money was spent on hats, jerseys and other paraphernalia? What did it cost the tens of thousands of fans who journeyed to Texas to watch the game? How many tons of shrimp, wings and nachos did those 111,000,000 million viewers consume? (I think I was personally responsible for eating about 50 pounds of shrimp!) Without question there was a massive amount of attention given to this GAME!
So what’s my gripe? All of the pregame glitter and hype promise the universe, but what’s left when the smoke clears?
From start to finish, a football game consumes about 3 hours of our time, but there’s an awful lot of filler involved. Did you know that the actual playing time amounts to only 11-12 minutes? Think about it! All of that time, money and effort for 12 minutes of Super Bowl action!
Hype promises us the world, but delivers little of substance. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
How does all of this relate to my current Harassed at the Border blog series? Opposition isn’t the only enemy to change. Deception and distraction are equally effective at hindering our journey toward transformation.
But hype isn’t limited to just the world of sports. Plenty takes place within Christian circles. Each next great fad promises to provide the answer that will fix our ills and restore the luster of American Christianity. Too often smoke and mirrors with no real or lasting substance!
Now, I didn’t write all of this simply to air my gripes, or to condemn football fans or to bad mouth the American church. My point is that hype distracts us from the real power of transformation—God’s grace.
Grace lacks so many attributes of hype, but delivers the substance of change and fulfillment like nothing else can. We can’t boast in the unmerited favor of grace, but we can be transformed. Grace carries with it the ability to do all that God has called us to do.
Our problem isn’t that the Gospel is flawed or somehow lacking. We have simply allowed the hyped-up fads of our day to divert and distract us from God’s everlasting power of transformation—grace.
Looking for real and lasting change? You’ll never find it in a game. Learn to abide in God’s amazing grace!
Watch my clip on Vimeo to learn more about grace.