Fall is here and it is football season!  

Why is it that so many of us love to watch football?  I find football to be a living expression of spiritual qualities, such as the precision illustrated in a perfectly executed pass; the agility shown in a beautiful catch; and especially, the mental toughness carried out in a goal-line stand by a defensive line that stops an offense cold.  

In the book Sports and Faith by Bears co-owner Patrick McCaskey, former Bear Bill Wade wrote, “We readily admit that the game of life is basically spiritual.  As we play the game and learn our purpose, whether it be president of a bank, worker in a factory, secretary, or quarterback of a football team, we must exercise ourselves spiritually to win the battles of life.”  Continuing in this vein, Wade identified prayer and reading the Bible as basic exercises that strengthened him spiritually.

High school and college football player George Nutwell found this to be true.  He stated in an article in The Christian Science Journal, “Praying about God’s protection is something I’d learned from my parents … I got into the routine of praying to understand my safety … and experienced quick healings of ankle sprains, shoulder injuries and an Achilles tendon tear.”    

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science Church, explained that as we gain a deeper spiritual understanding of God and our true identity as His spiritual child, we can experience divine healing and protection, no matter where we are or what we are doing.  She wrote, “The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith and understanding whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 487).

The truly wonderful part is that this kind of healing and protection can be experienced by anyone –whether we are involved in sports, or anything else.  God’s spiritual qualities are in all of us, and His healing and protecting power just needs to be explored and learned.  

Yes, football season is a time to watch and cheer for our favorite teams.  But it’s also a great time to search the Scriptures, and find the healing power of God defined in that book.