The Minnesota Vikings made a spectacular play in the last seconds of the NFC divisional playoff game Sunday, delighting their fans–including me–and stunning and disappointing New Orleans fans.
Comments by players after the game made the rounds on social media. After receiver Stefon Diggs made a “miracle” catch and ran for the winning touchdown, he said, “All I can say is ‘Give it to God.’ Because, without him nothing is possible and I wouldn’t be here” (followed by an expletive, unfortunately).
So did God want the Vikings to win? Does He care about a football game?
Yes and no. God cares about what we care about. He loves to see His children enjoy life, as long as we remember that all of life comes from Him.
Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum (whose story in itself is somewhat miraculous) stated that throwing that winning pass was the third greatest moment of his life, after giving his life to Christ and marrying his wife.
The Saints team has outspoken Christians as well, including quarterback Drew Brees, who shares his faith every chance he gets. The outcome had nothing to do with which team had more Christian players.
I don’t think God orchestrated one team to win over the other. Both teams played an exceptional game but, in the end, only one could be victorious. Skill, effort, luck, and an unfortunate missed tackle combined to give the Vikings the win. In such a close game, it’s difficult to even say the better team won (though as a Vikings fan, I prefer to think that).
But I believe God smiles when the victors use the opportunity to give Him glory. He gave these men their athletic ability, which put them in the position where they could play this game. And many of the players on both teams use their fame, their money, and their leadership ability to demonstrate His love.
If only more Christians would live out these words of the apostle Paul:
“Wherever we go, God uses us to make clear what it means to know Christ. It’s like a fragrance that fills the air. To God we are the aroma of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are dying” (1 Corinthians 2:14-15, GW).
What are you doing to fill the air with the fragrance of Christ in your victories and your defeats?