Super Bowl XLV is now over and should be considered a terrific game no matter which team you may have been cheering for. The victory could have gone to either team even into the final moments of the game.
As in many sporting events, there were some turning points, or potential turning points in the game.
For the Packers it was very likely at halftime – when they had to determine what they would do in the second half without two very important members of their team.
For the Steelers, I believe it was at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half. With time running out at the end of the second quarter, they were down by 18 points. Then they scored two touchdowns on either side of halftime to make it a four point game.
Later they were down by only three points. Victory was quite achievable at this point, though it eventually eluded them. Similarly, there are turning points in the lives of people when it comes to making decisions, including connecting with God.
For example: a person may have all kinds of reasons not to get married, until they meet that one special person, and then all those reasons seem to disappear. They have come to a turning point in their life.
Likewise when it comes to having children, there are many reasons not to have any, or perhaps just one or two. However, something changes when you go from talking about children in general, to your child or children specifically.
It becomes personal. So it is with God.
People have all kinds of reasons not to come to God or the Church because they are seen as impersonal concepts or institutions. Yet this has never been God’s intention.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to me (a person) all you who are weary and burdened, and I (a person) will give you rest.”
In John 7:37 He said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me (a person) and drink.”
Finally, in John 14:23, Jesus said, “If anyone loves me (a person), he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
That is personal. I am not committed to my marriage (a concept or institution); I am committed to my wife (a person). I am not committed to having and raising children (a concept); I am committed to having and raising my daughter (a person).
When Christianity becomes personal for someone and is not seen simply as a concept, an institution, or even a religion (a set of rules or rituals), I believe there follows a turning point for God.
I have told people countless times – God is not so much interested in servants (He has the angels!) as He is interested in sons and daughters. He is a personal God who very much wants to have a personal relationship with people.
I pray that many will come to a turning point in their lives regarding God in connection with these words, “This time it’s personal.”