I hate to lose. No, I really, REALLY hate to lose. I also hate watching my teams lose. I am a huge Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. For those not familiar with the history of college football, you would be hard-pressed to find a team with a deeper heritage, a better history of success or a more loyal fan base than the Huskers. The 1995 Nebraska squad is often touted as the greatest college football team of all time. The second best? The 1971 team.
Needless to say, I grew up watching them win… and win… and win. Losing not only wasn’t an option, it wasn’t fathomable. Then came the days of decline after legendary coach Tom Osborne retired, followed by the dark days of the Bill Callahan era. Now the Huskers are rebuilding and regaining prominence and it’s exciting to watch… until they lose.
Saturday, September 19. 19th ranked Nebraska has led and defensively dominated the 13th ranked Hokies of Va. Tech. However, despite their defensive domination, the offense of the Huskers floundered and the lead was only 5 points. I watched, praying the clock would tick faster.
Five minutes to go.
Two minutes until Big Red snapped a decade long losing streak against top 20 teams. 2 minutes until their return to prominence was legitimate. Two long, agonizing minutes.
Then it happened. First a long pass play to get Tech to the three yard line. Then with 21 seconds on the clock, a touchdown pass. Game over. Nebraska loses by one point.
I was livid (remember, I hate losing). I ranted. I stalked around. I yelled at inanimate objects. I acted like a two-year-old.
I even went outside to finish some outdoor work just to blow off steam. As I reflected, I realized how foolish I must have looked. Then I got angry with myself (which didn’t help, it only complicated matters). But I realized something; why don’t I get that passionate over lost souls? When was the last time I got angry at Satan for deceiving millions? When did I last allow my hate for losing apply to spiritual warfare?
I felt small. There I was, upset over a football game, and every day souls die without knowing the Lord. All I could do is wonder, “Where is my passion for them?”
Lord, give me an all-consuming passion for the right things and an attitude of contenment for the non-essential things.
Until next time,
P.S. I have recently become an official “book reviewer” for Thomas-Nelson publishers. My pay? Free books! My job? Post the reviews on my blog. So be watching out for book reviews!