Super Bowl number forty-nine is only a few days away. It will be played Sunday, February 1, 2015. It features the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. Last year experts predicted that the event, which traditionally is the most watched television show of the year, would have over 100 million viewers. It was estimated that a 30-second commercial spot would cost about 4 million dollars. It will mostly likely be more this year. It has almost become a national holiday in our country. The ten most watched programs in TV history are all Super Bowls. In a culture that worships winners, the team who wins the Super Bowl will be heroes. The losers will be zeroes. The winners will reap, and the losers will weep. In the Super Bowl there will be winners and there will be losers.
As Christians, it is an entirely different game with us. Every Sunday is a Super Sunday. We meet, not to play or watch a football game, but to celebrate a victory that has already been won. The Super Bowl champs get money, but we have something that money cannot buy. The winning Super Bowl team will get a Vince Lombardi Trophy that will serve to remind them of the victory they have won. Every time they look at the Trophy it will remind them of the victory they won in the 49thannual Super Bowl. And every Sunday when we meet to gather around the Lord’s Table, and partake of the bread and the cup, we are reminded of the victory that has already been won for us by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (Acts 20:7). Unlike the players in the Super Bowl, we are both losers and winners. We are losers because we can never get it right ourselves. We try to live right, but we always come up short (Rom. 3:23). Like all football players who miss blocks, miss tackles, fumble the ball, drop the passes, and sometimes run the wrong way, but we never get it ALL right. But when we look at the scoreboard, the game is over, and we have won because of what Jesus has done. The Lord’s Supper, which we observe every Sunday, is much like a Super Bowl Trophy…it serves to remind us that, even when we are losers, we are winners.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57, NKJV).
One thing I have learned from life is to appreciate the memories. Some of my dearest friends have already died. I am sure that more will die in the future. As I get older, it seems to hurt more and last longer. Death is a horrible thing, but there are some things that death cannot do. Death may take them out of our midst, but death cannot take them out of our minds. Death may take them out of our homes, but death cannot take them out of our hearts. Death may take them out of our meetings, but death cannot take them out of our memories.
I have learned that “making memories” is far more important than I realized when I was younger. I have also learned to pay more attention to what is going on now than I have in the past. The present will soon be the past. And part of life is simply “Making Memories.”One of my favorite songs that Elvis sung was entitled, “Memories.” Remember the first words: “Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind, Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine.” In church we sing a song entitled,“Precious Memories.” They are “precious.” I wish I had paid more attention—in my childhood…in school…in the early years of my marriage…when my children were growing up….etc. I wish I had spent more time with my father and mother. I wish I had spent more time with my children when they were small. I wish I had…I wish I had…I wish I had…
But I have also learned that: “If only I’d” or “Someday I’ll” will hardly ever make you smile. In other words, crying over mistakes of the past and procrastination concerning things we need to do now will usually only bring sorrow. We all could have done better. We all could have done more. We all could have been more attentive. We all could have been more affectionate. We all could have spent more time with those we love. We all could have been wiser. We all could have shown more concern. We all could have…and on and on the list goes. But the truth is: We “only go around once in life” and we are not allowed a “practice run,” nor are we allowed to correct all of our mistakes. What is done is done. What has happened has happened. What “should have been” has very little, if anything, to do with “what is.” It is what it is. I have learned that the past is…past.
I have also learned—the hard way—that all “memories” are not “precious.” Some of them are “painful.” If I had it to do over, knowing what I know now, it would have been different in a lot of areas, but that is not part of the plan. I have learned, at least to some degree, to focus on the present. I have also learned that just promising to do better and planning to do better will not get it done. I must practice doing better. Hopefully, one thing that will help me to live in the present is to realize that, as I go through life, I am “making memories” and they will be “precious” or “painful” depending on the “path” I choose. When I think about some of the memories I have made, I thank God for forgiveness! I thank God for Jesus!