The Big Game

With all of the hubbub surrounding the Super Bowl this past weekend, it would be easy to assume that nothing else of significance was happening in the world of sports. It would also be incorrect. On Saturday night, a massive college basketball game saw #3 Indiana defeat #1 Michigan in a game of critical importance both to the Big Ten and the national scene. Sunday morning, in the Barclays Premier League, two huge clubs, Liverpool and Manchester City (the defending champions), kicked off a game that was absolutely vital to the fortunes of both sides. And in Phoenix, Phil Mickelson teed off Sunday afternoon with the opportunity to not only win the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but to do so in a fashion more dominating than anything seen this year on the PGA Tour. Add to that some very interesting NHL and NBA contests and I think we can safely say that, while the Super Bowl is undoubtedly the biggest event on America’s sports calendar, there was more than one “Big Game” this past weekend.

Like all those other sporting events this weekend, sometimes, it can feel as if some of life’s important moments get overshadowed by other things. They get lost in the shuffle, and their value diminished. It can seem that because someone else or something else gains the spotlight that everything in the shadows is insignificant.

No one likes to feel overlooked. No one wants to be viewed as insignificant. No one wants to be forgotten. And that includes those involved in spiritual service as well. In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul wanted to make sure that the followers of Christ there need not fear that their service for Christ would somehow be forgotten:

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)  

His point? Don’t give up and don’t quit. Stay faithful in serving the Savior, for it will never be overlooked or ignored. In fact, just the opposite. What we seek to do in the name of our Lord is not and never can be in vain. In Him, even a cup of cold water given in His name gives honor to the Christ (Matt.10:42)—and is not forgotten by the Father. For the follower of Christ, every day lived for Him is big.

Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain