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The Obsession with Football

Published on May 13, 2016 | By
The article, Inside Jon Gruden's ‘Maniacal’ Obsession with Football, describes the current Monday Night Football analyst and former NFL head coach’s extreme commitment and strong love for the game. Although no longer coaching, he’s dedicated to his role with ESPN, which gives him an excuse to watch hours and hours of game tape. gruden1 The article outlines how much information he consumes and how much effort he puts into preparing to call games. An ESPN producer says, "It's over the top. I've been doing this for 30 years and worked with so many analysts in so many sports. Nobody has come close to him in terms of preparation." Apparently most days Gruden is at his office by 4 a.m. and stays there for about 12 hours. Football is in his blood, he can’t seem to get enough of it, and it’s easy to see he’s obsessed with it. He watches, talks about, thinks about, and focuses a lot of time and energy on the game of football. In many ways, Gruden is applauded for his long hours of watching game tape and admired for his passion for the sport, but I wonder if having this obsession is really a good thing. I am sure we can all identify something in our lives that we are passionate about or committed to that has become what we spend more time, effort, thoughts, and money on than anything else. We “eat and breathe” something like work or a hobby or our favorite sports team, and it’s all we seem to think about, talk about, and care about. As followers of Jesus, obsessions can be very hindering to our spiritual growth and devotion to God. If we are preoccupied and focused on our commitment to fill in the blank, and that obsession is what consumes our thoughts and time, then there isn’t much room for God to move in us and through us. If we’re not careful, our obsessions become idols and our love becomes strong for something or someone other than God. Jesus is asked in Matthew 22:36-37, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” To show that kind of love toward God requires a focus and dedication that can’t fully be lived out with obsessions getting in the way. Today, let’s consider what is most important to us and be honest about certain passions or interests that have become obsessions. Let’s enhance our desire to grow closer to the Lord by letting go. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that! PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please reveal to me the areas of my life that I may be too obsessed or have the potential to be too focused. Forgive me for being too concerned or passionate about certain things that have taken me away from fully loving and pursuing You. I pray that my ultimate desire would be to know You more and bring glory to Your name. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

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