It seems like Australians can either take or leave the NFL (America’s National Football League). Yet their grand final, known as the Super Bowl, never fails to make headlines.
The controversies surrounding the mid-game entertainment are always unconventional, whether it be a political statement from Beyoncé or an unfortunate costume malfunction. However, it seems that most of us care very little about the results of the actual game.
Well, at least until the 2018 Super Bowl. Because not only did underdogs the Philadelphia Eagles beat five-time Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots 41 to 33, but Most Valuable Player (MVP) was awarded to one of the league’s greatest underdogs, Nick Foles (pictured).
The 28-year-old quarterback nearly quit the sport two years ago after being cut very publicly from his former team the St Louis Rams on football show Hard Knocks.
“I wanted to retire from the NFL, and I really struggled. I couldn’t pick up a football for about eight months. I had no love for the game,” he shares on a video for the YouVersion Bible app.
Foles lost everything he had worked for, and when he turned to God for answers, he didn’t feel like he was receiving any clarity.
“I kept reading Scripture, I kept praying, I kept asking God—and so many of us ask God for signs, we ask God, ‘Hey, please just put it on the wall, like, I want to know’, but that’s not how it works. He’s not always going to do that. He was shaping me. He was bringing me down to my knees,” he said.
Like so many of us, Foles wanted answers. But often God doesn’t show us the complete path ahead, just the next step, and that is exactly what he discovered.
“Through that prayer, [God] said, ‘Hey, just take a step of faith. You’re either going to stop playing the game of football…and I’m going to be with you…or you’re going to step back into football and you’re going to continue to play and I’m going to be with you every step of the way and you’re going to play to glorify me.’”
The world of professional sport is brutal,
and Foles felt the full effect of this. Yet his path became clearer with prayer, and the Kansas City Chiefs recruited him in 2016 before he returned to his former team the Eagles in 2017.
Much like Foles, we all come up against roadblocks and challenges in life. Sure, they’re not all as public as being cut from an NFL team. But we can all learn something from his tenacity as he sought God out in a moment when he had lost everything he had worked for.
When we do this, we will experience triumph and justice. For Foles, it came in the form of MVP and the title of Super Bowl Champion. Whatever our next step is, we can be assured of this: God will be on the journey with us.