How to Stay Calm in Football Games…and in Life


I’m a passionate football fan. I enjoy exciting, close games…unless the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Philadelphia Eagles are playing. Then I’m a nervous wreck and terribly worried until my team is ahead by at least three scores.

Last week I’m watching the 4th quarter of the Philadelphia-N.Y. Giants game and the Eagles are down 21-10 with a little over 6 minutes remaining.

I feel totally calm.

With 4.5 minutes to go, they still are behind, now 21-16.

I am not worried in the least.

With less than a minute to go, the Eagles get a 15-yard penalty pushing them back to the 18-yard line.

I am not remotely close to nervous.

With 40 seconds left, quarterback Carson Wentz lofts a pass to the end zone into the outstretched hands of 5’6″ Boston Scott.

We’re ahead 22-21, but, wait, there’s still time for the Giants to win it with a field goal.

I don’t feel even a tinge of anxiety and in fact am totally confident the Eagles are not going to blow this game.


Because I’m watching a recording of the game the morning after it was played. I already know the victorious ending.

I didn’t despair about penalties, fumbles, questionable plays or injuries because I knew “we” were going to be okay. Every play I watched was viewed through my absolute certainty of the 22-21 outcome.

This P&P (Pandemic and Politics) world looks pretty bleak some days–maybe even every day for you right now.

But if you know and love Jesus, you also should know how it’s going to turn out. Spoiler alert: You and your team win!

The personal fouls feel different because people who have hurt us will one day have to answer to God. Our dropped pass mistakes don’t loom as large because they will be redeemed by our heavenly Father. The questionable plays won’t haunt us because God either will explain them or give us the peace to live without those answers. And even the physical injuries to us or our loved ones don’t lead to despair because our Creator will heal…now or in eternity.

Friends, it matters when we know how it all turns out. We can view the ups and downs of this world with calm assurance–just like I did in that Eagles’ game–because we know the victorious ending.

I love how C. S. Lewis gives us a glimpse of that ending in the final book of The Chronicles of Narnia when Aslan, lion king of that magical land, speaks to the school children who have been on adventures with Him:

“There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are–as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands–dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.

“And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

But no matter what comes,
we will always taste victory
through Him who loved us.
–The Voice Bible 
Romans 8:37


Please open in your browser to play the music video below “Into the Sea (It’s Gonna be OK)” by Tasha Layton.


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