They may tell us differently, but I am certain that Philadelphia Eagles’ fans were anxious before and during Super Bowl 52.
Why? Many reasons. The Patriots were “regulars” in these big games. They knew the drill. And then there’s ageless Tom Brady and the conniving Bill Belichick to be concerned about.
The game itself was certainly stressful for the Eagles’ faithful. For a while, the Eagles were ahead, but the game wasn’t over. There was still time for New England to make a comeback like the ones they had made in other Super Bowls. And then the Patriots went into the lead. I’m sure that the sentiment among many long-suffering Philly fans was: “Here we go again, finding a way to lose the big game.”
But can I add a certainty? When the game was over, the Eagles’ fans watching the game lost their anxiety. They knew that their team had won. It had actually happened.
I recall when Malcolm Butler rescued the Pats in the Super Bowl versus Seattle with his goal-line interception. It took a while for me to truly believe that “my” team had really won. After seeing the replay, it sunk in.
How about another certainty: When the Philadelphia fans watch the replays of SB52, they will be stress free. Yes, they’ll see negative plays, and the Patriots will take the lead, but there will not be an anxious moment. Why? They know that the Eagles win in the end!
If you want to spend a pleasant afternoon (and you’re a Patriots’ fan) watch the replays of the Super Bowls that the Patriots have won. They’re enjoyable because we win in the end!
Changing the subject “slightly”: There is going to be a Judgment Day. We will stand before God and our eternal destination will be decided.
Harold Bussell (former pastor at Hamilton (MA) Congregational) regularly said at the end of Sunday services, and a paraphrase, “If your sins are forgiven you can face the graveyard across the street and know that before a holy and righteous God, you stand completely in the clear.”
If I know that my sins are forgiven, and they are, I do not have to worry about Judgment Day. I win in the end!
Imagine watching the replay of SB52 with someone who claims to be an Eagles fan. They start expressing worry because negative things are happening in the game. You would have to conclude that this Eagles’ fan didn’t know how the game ended.
If you believe that your sins will not be counted against you on Judgment Day, you reflect that belief by facing life’s uncertainties differently than those who still wonder how things will turn out for them at the end of life.
Does that mean that a believer, whose sin record has been cleared, “enjoys” the pain and suffering along the way? Definitely, not. But we know that we win in the end! The broken will be fixed. The tears will be dried. Things will be better in the next life than we can possibly imagine.
I must live my life with the same optimism as a replay-watching Eagles’ fan who knows the ending.
I win in the end!