For years, XL to be exact, folks have scheduled parties, gatherings and office betting pools around one event in the early part of the year. The Super Bowl. It is a time when some Sunday businesses have actually closed in order to facilitate the office party. It will be what is talked about for days to come.
Are we Super crazy? I remember hearing of churches changing their worship times in order to facilitate an earlier than normal start to playoff games in certain parts of the country. That's crazy. Now in our church, we have one of the largest fundraisers on Super Sunday. We sell sub sandwiches. Some churches have actually set up large screens or projection systems in their sanctuary or fellowship hall to encourage an alcohol free party. But onto the families of the coaches.
A few years ago when the Cowboys made in to the big game, Coach Jimmy Johnson caught much grief for telling his family to stay home and then bought a big screen television so they could watch the game. His reasoning was simply this: the Super Bowl is work for him and he didn't want to take time or attention divided between friends, family and the football game. This year one head coach's family will not be in Detroit. They'll be in Africa.
The Seattle Seahawks are not a total surprise for the big game. But Head Coach Mike Holmgren will be without family this year. His wife Kathy and daughter Calla will be thousands of miles away on a mission trip to the Democratic Republic to Congo. Kathy says that she always wanted to be a medical missionary. She had the opportunity fresh out of nursing school to travel and serve overseas as a nurse and has always wanted to go back. Calla, an OB-GYN doctor, is taking her first trip to see where her mom fell in love with medical missions.
Plans had been made the end of last year and even though the family has been rooting for the trip to Detroit today, the plans for the trip continued. The Congo has been the sight for almost 4 million people dying of preventable and curable disease in the last 8 years. That's 10,000 people every week. Kathy and Calla decided that this was the place and now was the time. So with Mike's blessing they took off last week for Congo.
Kathy says that football is how Mike makes his livelihood but it is entertainment. Issues in the Congo are life and death. Her husband echoes that priority. The coach said that football is a big part of our life but so is our church and helping others. He is glad that Kathy can go and live her dream and serve others.
Now does God care who will win the game? Probably not, but he has to smile down on the Holmgren family for their commitment. And in the game of life, that could be the winning score.