Growing in up Georgia, I inherrited an affection for the Atlanta-based professional teams. My dad loved baseball and used to watch the Braves. Unfortunately, he died before they won the World Series - but he would have loved it. I have always like football better than baseball, and so the Falcons have been the team I always pulled for. But that's the beginning of the problem.
Being a Braves and/or Falcons fan can often feel like an exercise in futility. Apart from brief bright spots of brilliance, both clubs have been marked by long stretches of mediocrity. Amazingly, the Braves have won exactly 50% of their games. So it's a 50/50 proposition. You might as well save yourself some time and, instead of watching the game, just flip a coin.
But historically, the Falcons are the third-worst NFL team, having only won 43.9% of their games. A system (the draft and scheduling) designed to bring 'parity' to the party cannot overcome bad ownership and bad management and bad coaching. So Falcons fans have gotten used to losing.
Until this year. They had the best offense in the game, they had an MVP quarterback, and for three quarters, they had the Superbowl. And then they blew it. Step by step they faded; step by step the legendary Tom Brady brought the Patriots back from the brink. Overtime. Patriots score. Game over. Atlanta denied ... again.
As I pondered the outcome of the game, I reflected on our owner/manager/coach/MVP - Jesus. He is undefeated, he never loses, and he is in control. He always wins. In the words of the apostle Paul: 'He always leads us in his triumphs' (2 Corinthians 2:14). If we're following Jesus, we're on the winning team.
I don't have much emotional margin for watching the Falcons lose any more. But I am absolutely focused on setting my eys, my heart, my faith and my confidence on Jesus. Everything else we trust in - family and jobs and politicians and even 'being American' - all of that will ultimately disappoint.
But the good news about Jesus is that he never disappoints. He led the ultimate come from behind victory with his resurrection. And every day of sharing his life, living in fellowship with the risen Lord - every day is like the Super Bowl. And the good news is - we win!