After a scandalous season, why would the Patriots win the Super Bowl Championship without there being a little drama? This Super Bowl ended in one of the most controversial coaching calls in history. As the Seahawks stood at the 1-yard line with arguably the best NFL running back in the backfield, they decided to throw the ball. Best running back and no big time receivers, and they throw the ball on 2nd down. Everyone is criticizing this call. No one else would have made this call, but yet, that is how Super Bowl 49 will go down in the history books: New England Patriots 28 – Seattle Seahawks 24.
I imagine in the light of morning, after every game, coaching staffs begin to rethink and question every call as they watch the game footage back. It is interesting to see things in hindsight, because let’s face it, hindsight is 20/20. What if they had given Marshawn Lynch the ball and he fumbled it? What if the Seahawks scored? What if Tom Brady got the ball back with 1 minute left and the game in his hands? What if… what if… what if…
Was this really the worst call? Is this the one call that will stand in sports’ history that everyone will refer to? As a spectator, we can’t know everything that goes into the play calling. But as I reflect and read articles on the “Worst Play Call in NFL History”, I can’t help but think about other questionable calls made throughout history. Decisions that were made that didn’t work out, but were viable options at the time.
I then started to think about what would the worst call be. What about the Titanic only having 13 lifeboats because it was “unsinkable”, or Santa Anna deciding to win at the Alamo only to be defeated shortly after, or even the testing of the nuclear reactors at Chernobyl only for the 4th reactor to explode and radiate the entire town, that still to this day is uninhabitable? There are huge decisions that were made throughout history, but I imagine the one most questioned would be on the day that Jesus was arrested, beaten and later put on the cross.
I imagine that people questioned the call that God had made when Jesus was laid in the tomb. I can’t imagine a follower celebrating that call. No follower in that moment said, “Good call, God.” Even the disciples scattered out of fear, because no one understood the call. As the dust settled and Jesus was confirmed dead, no follower was happy with this call. It proved the religious leaders right. How could the long-talked about Messiah be dead? How could the Son of God die this horrible death? It disappointed all of Jesus’ followers, and there was unrest abounding.
There is no doubt that Every Single Follower questioned the call that God made that day.
But can you imagine, that third day? The resurrection day, when Jesus came back from the dead… Imagine the day that Jesus defeated death and overcame sin. As Jesus began revealing that He was resurrected from the dead, people still questioned Him. No one understood what was happening. There was still confusion surrounding the entire event. Imagine Jesus trying to comfort those that were still mourning the loss of their Messiah, Savior, Friend, or Son.
It’s hard to understand play calls sometimes. When things go wrong in our lives, we question them. We question them, because we think we have everything figured out. We don’t want stuff to happen that isn’t within our control. The problem with this is that we will never know the entire situation as it is happening. There are things that will always be out of our control and realm of knowledge.
The most incredible realization that we must come to is that we can’t see the big picture. It’s as if we are seeing 10 puzzle pieces, but don’t know what puzzle they are from. We can’t make sense of these few pieces until we have all of the pieces. God doesn’t just give us all the pieces and say figure it out. If He did, we would all be certifiably insane. We would try to figure out, what is next… when will it happen… who will it happen to… and why. We would lose the ability to apply the scripture Proverbs 3:5 that says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Rather, we would fixate on our puzzle pieces trying to figure it all out before it is even relevant.
We have to learn to sit back and allow God to reveal pieces of His plan as He sees fit. We have to wait for the rest of the pieces to come together to realize why some things happen. When I was 10 years old, I questioned why I had to not only lose my grandmother but why I also had to leave the city I loved. I wondered why I had to move to a little country town with nothing to do. I resented much, and therefore repelled most people from me. But God had a plan in all of that. He used this great lose to give me great gain. I found Christ through all of that turmoil. I am who I am today because of those crazy puzzle pieces that didn’t seem to fit.
Sometimes we want to look at the play call and decide whether it is good or bad, but honestly we only know once it is all said and done; once all the pieces have fallen together. We have got to learn to trust God, even when it is hard. Despite the struggles of life, we have to give it all to God and trust that HE WILL PROVIDE.
We know He will provide answers and direction, because He has already provided the Way.