Editorial

Wilona Karimabadi

is an assistant editor at Adventist Review and is editor of KidsView, Adventist Review’s magazine for children.

​Of Faith and Football

I didn’t grow up a fan of American Football. My dad may have watched a game or two here and there without devotion to any one team. I didn’t understand it, and without a team to get excited about, I always felt the whole thing seemed pointless. We did tune in to the Super Bowl every year, but if I’m being honest, I watched it for the commercials (which were very different back then)—and chips and dip.

When I met my husband, however, we often managed our long-distance bi-coastal relationship to the tunes of me calling him on a Sunday afternoon and sharing the conversation with the trials and triumphs of the Washington Redskins. To say that my beloved is a rabid Redskins fan is an understatement. So in our married life, many a Sunday afternoon (and sometimes a Monday or Thursday night) are spent wondering if he’s going to need sedation or resuscitation. If a win occurs, sunshine and glory prevail in our home. But if they lose (more on that soon), doom on us.

I had no intention of ever getting excited about any of this, as truthfully, there have been way too many losses for this team. But that seemed to change last season with the arrival of a young quarterback named Robert Griffin III whom many a Redskins fan viewed as akin to the coming of a “savior” (no blasphemy intended).

The rookie QB really was remarkable. And when Washington finally began winning game after game, culminating in the clinching of the NFC East Division title, all things seemed possible—dare we say—even a Super Bowl appearance (not seen since 1991). Playing off the QB’s initials, R. G., some took to calling him R. Jesus.

There were only two humongous problems with that. One, Mr. Griffin could get maimed. He did. Sure, he could be doctored, and we could hope again for the next season. Those hopes haven’t worked out so far this year. But getting sidelined by being maimed is no way to save the world.

Besides, Mr. Griffin, great as he is, needs help from other topflight players that his team’s owners are not allowed to recruit. They’ve got the money. But the rules won’t let them. Money, you see, is not everything. The Redskins team is one of the most profitable franchises in the NFL. But are they consistent in their wins? Not so much. As one loyal fan tweeted, “Redskins football is like the end of times. It’s going to test your faith and loyalty while showing you shadows of prosperity and hope.”

Redskins fans keep hoping for a miracle. They thought they had it in Robert Griffin III. But as gifted as he is, he’s no savior. He’s just a man.

Thousands of years ago a baby came to earth to deliver on the promises made to a people who needed to catch a big break. Under Roman oppression, there were those who hoped for a savior who would sweep in and obliterate the enemy in grand fashion. They were tired of being on what they perceived was the side of the losers. They wanted someone to prevail for them. And that is precisely what they got, though not in the way they expected. What they got—what we got—is the only answer we have ever needed.

Are you hoping for a miracle? If your life feels as if you are constantly fighting a losing battle with no wins in sight, you don’t need insanely talented humans—gifted as they may be—to right the wrongs. Jesus is a miracle-working Savior who comes through time and time again. Want to talk about consistent winning? There’s only one Winner I know of: His name is Jesus. You can’t sideline Him by hurting Him; you don’t need a supporting cast when you’ve got Him; and you don’t need any money to buy Him. He’s free; He’s yours; and He’ll never ever let you down.

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