February 10, 2017

Who Lost on Super Bowl Sunday

Do you make too much of stuff that doesn’t really matter? I know I have. How is it that what we embrace as vital, urgent and important at a given moment clouds our perspective on what is truly important?

This past weekend we may have witnessed one of (if not) the greatest Super Bowl game in history. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots engineered the ultimate comeback in Super Bowl history to send the game into overtime.

Then the Patriots finished the climb to the top of the mountain as James White dove across the goal line to win the game. In the post-game interviews these words were tossed around, “defining moment,” “pinnacle,” and “greatest ever.”

The players, coaches and team fanatics will be the ones to hold on to the memory and experience of this game. The guy who placed a million dollar bet on the Falcons just prior to game time is also unlikely to forget this game. But one year from now will it matter?

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Shortly after the Super Bowl ended, I received a text message from a friend. “Please pray for my son-in-law’s brother was hit on his bike. At hospital, had brain surgery, extremely serious. In Coma for week.”

Steve was struck by a hit-and-run driver while on a cycling workout. A husband and father of five boys ranging in age from 3-months to nine-years old, Steve remains in a coma. Steve and his family will remember this Super Bowl Sunday for much different reasons.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

As I was writing this, I thought for a moment about past Super Bowls. Who won and lost the last five Super Bowls? Who performed at half time? Could I remember any of the $17,000 per second commercials from years past?

If I had taken a written quiz, I would have failed miserably. And I am a sports fan! Don’t pick me to be your Trivial Pursuit partner!

What’s truly important?

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Every day can be filled with events, experiences and encounters we frame up as  our personal “Super Bowl’s.” They come and go each presenting a unique opportunity to perform at what you have been called to do.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music…Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”

Perspective is invaluable to becoming a great street sweeper. It requires us to focus on the present—today! A year from now we might not be sweeping streets or playing in the Super Bowl.

I am praying for Steve and his family. It is moments like this that I find myself trying to see the reverse side of the tapestry of life, searching to make sense of the artistry. The tangled and messy yarn held tightly together with a myriad of knots is unrecognizable.

Then, turning it over, I see a magnificent picture full of wonder and beauty. The incredible handiwork reflecting how well we played and how well we swept streets.

It’s all about perspective. Looking at the world through the lens of, “Who can I help and serve today?,” can change lives, inspire hearts and unlock possibilities. Let’s remember to pause from time-to-time and flip the tapestry over to see God’s artistry.

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