Thanksgiving Theology & Tony Romo
Thanksgiving at our house is about two things: Turducken and the Dallas Cowboys. I have to admit that both have been an acquired taste. (disclaimer: I’m not a football expert but Dietz has tutored me about the nickel defense.)
With that in mind, I admit that I unabashedly embrace Thanksgiving as a way to rack up extra wife points by scheduling dinner around The Game and making extra cranberries to compliment the three bird concoction (hence tur-duc-hen) which Dietz specially requests. Not the most unselfish motivation, I admit, but it’s truthful.
I also admit that I don’t find everything about professional sports to my taste and I’m slow to recognize fan worthy characteristics in players who don’t live in the Rocky Mountains. [shout out to my preferred team at Mile High Stadium] But last week when I heard seasoned quarterback Tony Romo’s press conference addressing his difficult adjustments to the reality of the new rookie quarterback’s success, I cheered.
Tony put himself in a secure pocket by choosing to follow through on vital life lessons. And whether he intended it or not, there was some good theology wrapped up in what he said.
Strong players remember the people who helped them along the way
“If you think for a second that I don’t want to be out there, then you’ve probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning. That hasn’t left me. In fact it may burn more now than ever. It’s not always easy to watch. I think anybody who’s been in this position understands that. But what is clear is that I was that kid once, stepping in, having to prove yourself. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. It really is an incredible time in your life. And if I remember one thing from back then, it’s the people that helped me along when I was young.”
Strong players put the welfare of others before their personal glory
“Ultimately, it’s about the team. It’s what we’ve preached our entire lives. I can remember when I was a kid just starting out wanting to be part of something bigger than myself. … there is greatness in being the kind of teammate who truly wants to be part of a team. Everyone wants to be the reason they winning or losing. Every single one of us wants to be that person. But there are special moments that come from a shared commitment to play a role, while doing it together.That’s what you will remember. Not your stats or your prestige, but the relationships and the achievement that you created through a group. It’s hard to do, but there’s great joy in that.”
Strong players know that the most strategic victories are about the inner man
“Lastly, I just want to leave you with something I have learned in this process as well: I feel like we all have two battles or two enemies going on. One with the man across from you. The second is with the man inside of you. I think once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you really doesn’t matter.”
That kind of philosophy helps football teams accomplish their goals. And that kind of philosophy will help Christians accomplish their goal of being Christ-like. Think about it:
players remember that they were helped along the way
We do well to remember that anything good in us is because of the presence of Jesus and the new life He has given us.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3
players put the welfare of others before their personal glory
We reflect the servant-leadership of Jesus when we prioritize the well being and success of others.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
players know that the most strategic victories are about the inner man
We represent Jesus well as we are daily aware that continued vigilance is wise so that He increases and we decrease. (John 3:30)
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, Ephesians 3:16
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. II Peter 3:17
Whether or not we ever acquire a taste for the Cowboys – or for turduchen – I’m thinking that we’d all do well to acquire this kind of faith mindset as a life habit so that it will be obviously clear Who’s team we belong to.
Here’s wishing you delicious dinners and true theology as you give thanks on this holiday.