The Emptiness of a Championship

Posted on · Posted in Earthly Treasure

Fields left this comment on the second of three posts about the Super Bowl.


cannot view any medium as "neutral." There is always a motivation and
a message and we need to be evaluating and teaching our children to be

thing you haven’t covered is that we should discuss the emptiness of a
championship. As I watched the coverage after the game I heard much talk about
Tom Coughlin, the Giants head coach, telling his players that second to family
there is no feeling like winning a championship. This is a message that needs
to be dealt with biblically.

Thanks, Don
for raising an important consideration. As our culture’s spectacles become more elaborate, the emptiness that
Don speaks of increases. I believe this
indicates that the harder man searches for meaning and purpose apart from God the
more futile and frustrating his search becomes.

Few professional athletes have enjoyed the level of success
that Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, has had. Yet in an
interview with Steve Kroft on CBS’s 60 Minutes in November of 2005, Brady said
the following:

BRADY: Why do I have three Super Bowl rings, and still think
there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would
say, "Hey man, this is what is." I reached my goal, my dream, my
life. Me, I think: God, it’s gotta be more than this. I mean this can’t be what
it’s all cracked up to be. I mean I’ve done it. I’m 27. And what else is there
for me?

KROFT: What’s the answer?

BRADY: I wish I knew. I wish I knew…

in the context of the interview Brady does not appear to be as
discouraged as
this quote would seem to indicate. However, we do gain insight into the
fleeting quality of the world’s treasures. Don mentions the emptiness
of a championship. The Scriptures, too,  talk about emptiness.

2 "Vanity of vanities,"
says the Preacher,
   "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."

3 What advantage does man have in all his work
   Which he does under the sun? —Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 nasb

Various English
words are used to translate this Hebrew word which the NASB renders vanity:  some of these words are meaningless, futility, nonsense and emptiness. These fit the mood of Tom Brady’s statement,
“… it’s gotta be more than this.” Remember, these words are coming from someone
who has achieved at a level beyond excellence in professional football. He is
personally setting the standard for others to follow. Yet we see that emptiness is one opponent that he is not
able to elude.

Parents, here
is a significant message for your children. Whether the ultimate prize is being
first in a class at school; winning a sports championship, a gold medal at the
Olympic Games, or an international piano competition; being the top sales
producer—apart from living for Christ and the glory of God, life offers only
emptiness. Jesus discusses the world’s
treasures and championships in Luke 12. He says,

Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a
treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no
moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

interesting how the Scripture brings the focus back to the heart? Few
will grow up to become gold medalists, either at the Olympics or at the
Tchaikovsky Festival. The coach of the New York Giants is asking far
too much of his team’s Super Bowl victory this year. The feeling
on which he places such significance will not counterbalance the weight of
sin. No championship or human
recognition can bring peace and comfort from God. This is not to belittle the
accomplishment of human effort. The fact
that so few actually win the “gold medal” makes these victories a noteworthy
human feat. Yet, as Christ tells us, these treasures are fleeting—they can be
gone in an instant. 

It is easy for us as parents to make human accomplishment the measure of
our children. Try to see through their eyes—do they think that your
appreciation of them is tied to how well they perform? Whether accomplishment is measured by GPAs,
RBIs or championship trophies, it will always lead back to the theme of
Ecclesiastes. Life without Christ is emptiness. Parents, are your goals for your children rooted in seeing the fruit of
the Spirit grow in their lives? Or do
you hold something else out for them? Why not take time to evaluate what you
are actually holding out for your children as important in life.

Don, thank you for raising this issue. May we lead our children toward a
life that is not empty, but is, rather, full of the richness of a close
relationship with Jesus Christ.

Please let me know your thoughts on this topic. 


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