This week many will get ready for the big game. Those who might not have watched a second of football all season will suddenly scream for either the Gamecocks or the Tigers. In fact, if you grew up in the state of South Carolina you completely understand this rivalry game that has become known as the “Palmetto Bowl.” This rivalry game dates all the way back to 1896. It’s the longest uninterrupted series in the South and the second longest uninterrupted NCAA DI-A/FBS series in the country.
Fortunately, this year’s big game will be played two days after Thanksgiving. This way hopefully family members in South Carolina can enjoy some undivided time together before they go to war on the football field. Of course, I’m sure there will be some trash talk taking place while enjoying that homemade turkey and dressing.
As many as 86,000 screaming fans will watch the big game live inside Clemson’s Death Valley. Well over 2 million will watch the game broadcasted live through ESPN during its 7:30pm prime time slot this Saturday. Countless dollars will be spent, many hours given, and much energy will be put forth to watch young men run back and forth on a football field.
Now, anyone who really knows me knows that I can’t wait for kickoff. I don’t plan on missing one second of this big game. I have friends on both sides of this rivalry while I’m clearly pulling for my side. But, after years of living and watching football I’ve really learned to keep these games in perspective. In fact, I give myself a personal pep talk before any sporting event of this nature.
You see, this is just a game. The final score will not determine my future. The final score will not fix any of my present life problems or struggles. The final score really won’t offer me any hope whatsoever in this life or the life to come. So, I’ve got to make sure that I don’t put my hope in such fleeting man-made stuff such as football.
The only hope that is certain, secure, and won’t ever let me down is Jesus. Only in him can I find lasting peace, purpose, and eternal hope. And, whether my team wins or loses my hope in Jesus Christ will not change. So, before I say “Go Tigers” or “Go Gamecocks” I’m making sure that I’m putting my full hope in Jesus. Hope you all enjoy the game!
(Hebrews 6:9) We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
(Hebrews 13:8) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(John 3:16) For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
*Craig Crosby is Pastor of Refuge Church of Walterboro. Listen to his sermons online @ http://www.RefugeChurch.org. Visit him on Sundays 9:15 or 11am @ 203 Eddie Chasteen Dr.