A Very Ordinary Game

Is anyone else glad that the Super Bowl is over? Yes, it wasn’t the most exciting game of the season, but the reason I’m so very glad it’s over is because of the relentless hype and promotion over the past couple of weeks. Commentators, analysts, prognosticators, announcers, coaches, players, entertainers, musicians, friends, grandmothers, veterinarians, etc. all had to give their “expert” opinion about the upcoming game. Detailed analysis was given to every player, every coach, every matchup, every potential situation, and even every halftime show participant. Will the seasoned veteran have the advantage over the young guy? Will the exciting new coach be able to put together a game plan to defeat the old guy? Will the stout defensive line be able to hold the opponents running game in check and pressure the quarterback? Will the superstar quarterback again do spectacular things on the biggest sporting stage in the world? The hype builds and builds and builds and expectations tend to skyrocket.

After two weeks of the drudgery of wading through all this the game was finally played, and it just wasn’t that exciting. It turned out to be just another ordinary game, filled with some great plays, some poor plays, some shrewd decisions, some stupid decisions, some nail-biting situations, and some situations that caused many of us to doze off. The MVP of the game turned out to be the most ordinary guy of all - wide receiver Julian Edelman. Check out his impressive resume: no scholarship offers out of high school, quarterback at Kent State, 1 catch in college for 11 yards, did not get invited to the NFL combine after graduating college, a 7th-round NFL pick. Nothing impressive at all about this guy … except that he has become superstar Tom Brady’s security blanket, a clutch part of the New England Patriot’s dynasty, a 3 time Super Bowl champion, and now an MVP of the Super Bowl. Not bad for an undersized nobody from a town of only 6000 in California, who’s father is a mechanic, and who tore up his knee a couple of years ago.

Many Christians I encounter these days want life to be a constant Super Bowl experience … full of hype, excitement, over-analysis, high expectations, and lots of social-media coverage. But typically, the real MVP’s of God’s Kingdom are the weak, obscure, least desired, outcasts, marginalized, unexpected, servants. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but one we must learn if we want to be great in God’s Kingdom.