LSU Football and My Broken Heart
By: Al Robertson
If you aren’t an LSU football fanatic, you probably won’t have a clue about what I’m talking about. Just bear with me though. I’ll try to tie it all together for you.
The 2019-20 season was the pinnacle of LSU’s football history. With a record of 15-0 and a national championship to boot, we thought that a new era was being ushered in. We were, after all, the best team in the history of college football. Sitting around pots of boiling crawfish, we dreamt of Nick Saban (some of our fans refer to him as “Nick Satan”) cowering in some faraway SEC corner weeping over his lost dynasty. The LSU Tigers were the new kings of the Southeastern Conference and the College Football Playoff series. No doubt about it, the future was definitely bright!
But alas, the 2020 season came along to burst our bubble. Gone were Joe Burrow and his stable of incredible receivers. Gone was Joe Brady. And by the time the 2021 season was underway, we all realized that our dream of an LSU football dynasty was just that — a dream. We would have to wait for another day. At least we’ve beaten Florida for three years in a row and shut my obnoxious Gator relatives’ fat mouths for a while. By the way, is that redundant? Obnoxious Gator fan relative? I jest! I love them all.
But somehow though, beating Florida is not enough. I want the glory days again.
I do love LSU sports — I really do. But in the midst of the past two horrible seasons (ending with a 42-20 blowout at the hands of lowly K-State), something profound occurred to me. I’ve known it all along, but LSU football’s demise was an exclamation point — just a reminder that I can’t count on things I have no control over. If it were up to me, I’d will LSU to win every game by 50 points. We would embarrass Alabama, Mississippi State, and Florida every single year. But I can’t do that. Those things are out of my control — above my paygrade.
Of course, football is just a metaphor for the rest of life. I love LSU football (have I said that already?) I love my parents, my siblings, my wife, and my children and grandkids. Yet, in spite of my love for them, they have all disappointed me at one time or another. Well, except for the grandkids. They’re perfect. But all of the others have. And guess what, I’ve let them down too. A lot!
And then we factor in the uncertainty of our health, our wealth, and the state of our incredible republic. At a moment’s notice, those things can go down the drain too. One diagnosis, one really horrible economic downturn, and BOOM! Everything I’ve put my hope in is destroyed. Just like that!
THE ONE INVESTMENT THAT GUARANTEES A RETURN!
We may not enjoy hearing someone remind us that all of life is uncertain and beyond our control, but it is a reality that we should not ignore. Ever! We should always be aware of how quickly we could lose everything we invested in because remembering this reality prompts us to put our hope in something more substantive — in things that last beyond the here and now.
Jesus addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:19-21).
Jesus boiled down the conflict between the temporary (and all material things are temporary, including our lives) and the eternal. If you invest in what is temporary, you will be left with two hands full of dust — worthless ash. Someone will steal what you have, or the natural decay of the universe will rip it from your hands. Nothing survives. Not EVER!
SPEAKING TRUTH TO THE LIE
God has given Lisa and me the opportunity to minister two groups of people. We speak the truth of God into broken marriages, and we work hard to speak truth into the travesty of abortion. Your ministry may be to the drug addicted or to people who are caught up in demonic sexual addictions. The truth is all sin is rooted in this one lie — that we can find meaning in the things of this world. Jesus said as much in the above passage.
I hope that LSU rebounds with Brian Kelly at the helm. However, no matter what happens, I am certain of one thing. Regardless of what transpires in Tiger Stadium in 2022, I will still be kneeling down before the God who created me. I will worship the God who died and was raised on my behalf. And Lisa and I will still be pleading with the brokenhearted to invest in heavenly treasure that can’t be touched by the decay of this world. Our treasure is where our heart is — in heaven right next to the throne of the one who rescued us from the consequences of our own sin.
This is why we don’t worship anything in this world — we worship the God of all Creation. Because of that, our lives are free of moral confusion. With the very clear direction we received when we believed God, we are thriving. Praise him for that! No matter what happens, we are good to go.