“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33
It was through the lens of a concerned father that I watched the countenance of my only son slowly change from one of joy, excitement and elation, to one of sadness, shock and disbelief. This all took place within a span of about 30 minutes as our family watched our beloved Falcons set a Super Bowl record for losing a game in which they had the largest lead.
We watched helplessly as their lead slowly dissipated. I could clearly understand what my son was going through, as I was wrestling with the same emotions. As we drove home — still in disbelief — we sat silently trying to cope, each in our own way.
We shared how blessed we feel to be a part of the body of Christ and the fact that God does not define us by the failures of our lives, but instead continues to be excited by our possibilities.
It was then that the Holy Spirit reminded me that this was a teachable moment. In the Gospel of Saint John, Jesus informs us that during our lives we will have tests and trials. It is safe to assume that we are going to have disappointments, losses and things are not going to result in the outcomes that we desire. However, Jesus instructs us to be of good cheer, for he has overcome the world.
I immediately began to help my son change his perspective. We began to focus on what the Falcons had accomplished — not on what they could have achieved. We thought back over the amazing season that we had enjoyed and not just the last 30 minutes of the game.
We talked about the “brotherhood” and how young they are. We began to get excited about the possibilities of what this team could become in the future. We decided not to define them by the results of that one game. We shared how blessed we feel to be a part of the body of Christ and the fact that God does not define us by the failures of our lives, but instead continues to be excited by our possibilities.
It was truly a blessing for me to see the countenance of my son once again shine brightly. I thank God for those teachable moments. It will bless our children if we take time to see the lessons.
Pastor James W. Goolsby Jr. is senior pastor of First Baptist Church on New Street in Macon.