Until the Super Bowl last Sunday, I hadn’t realized how much I have in common with Tom Brady.
The famous quarterback stepped on the field ready for a battle against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was armed with football pads, cleats, a helmet, a mouthguard and a plan. Focused on a victory, he would fight this foe with his teammates all around and fans in the stands. The clash would be talked about for decades.
As a follower of Christ, I am “on the field” every day facing enemies big and small. Instead of foam and rubber pads, God provides a full set of armor which enables me to face them. Ephesians 6:10-18 names each piece: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, etc.
Tom wore cleats to enable him to negotiate the AstroTurf in the Raymond James Stadium. As a disciple of Jesus, my feet are to be “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” — KJV. (The NCV: “On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong.”)
Tom’s football helmet protects his skull and brain from injury. I have the “helmet of salvation.” It is crucial to protect my mind, blocking the lies the devil often tries to spin.
Football players wear a mouthguard to shield their teeth from blunt force trauma. As a Christian, I also need a guard to keep from causing damage with my words. Psalm 141:3 pleads: “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
A quarterback is no good without a team. Receivers, tight ends, tackles, linebackers and others complete the unit that will work together for a common goal: a win. A Christian alone or isolated will wither and waste away. Being connected to a body of believers will strengthen me to live a victorious life. A football huddle might compare to a Small Group/Sunday School class.
Sports teams often have oodles of supporters close at hand. Family and friends happily cheer and boo as necessary, reminders that they are not alone. Hebrews 12:1 tells of my invisible cheering section: “a great cloud of witnesses,” saints who have gone on to heaven.
I watched as Tom Brady walked steadfastly from the locker room to the stadium. He was serious. He looked focused. His coach had a plan, a good one, and Tom hoped it would lead to victory.
With God as my coach, I know that He has a plan for my life, a good one. If I focus on Him and His will, He will give me victory, as well.
Like Tom, there will be days when I will win and it will feel great! There will be some days when I’ll get sacked or knocked down, but I can’t give up. The apostle Paul gave me a running play I can use on those days: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me,” Philippians 3:14.
When the Super Bowl was over, Tom and the Buccaneers were awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy. When my days are over, I will receive a crown of life (James 1:12)!