It only took 41 years, but my beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs finally won themselves another NCAA National Football Championship. They came close a time or two since 1980; but not until this past season did they actually pull it off, culminating in their defeat of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide forty-eight hours ago in the College Football Playoff championship game by a score of 33-18.
My wife and I watched the whole game. As we did, we carried on what amounted to a non-stop texting conversation with friends and family far and wide. Along the way, like all true DAWG Nation fans, I rode an exhaustive emotional roller coaster throughout much of the game.
When the Dogs played well, I was feeling high! But when they faltered, I sank to emotional lows. And if the truth be known, I was more down than up for the first three quarters or so. While their defense lived up to its billing, keeping the Tide out of the end zone for much of the game, their offense sputtered.
In the first offensive possession alone, I suffered through the agony of watching a three and out series, punctuated by a sack, a fumble (fortunately recovered by us), a delay of game call, and a near interception. Alas, for us Dog fans, Alabama fared little better. Between them, both teams managed a total of five field goals.
But all that changed in the second half, as the Bulldogs’ offense finally got on track. Even though their vaunted defense did eventually allow a touchdown to the Tide, the Dogs themselves went on to score 27 more points. The last of these came on a dramatic pick-six interception pulled off as Alabama was driving to make it a closer game.
When this last play happened, a huge collective sigh of relief went out from millions of Bulldog fans, as everyone realized that the “Junkyard Dogs” had finally secured not only the victory, but also that elusive and long sought National championship.
Fast forward 48 hours till this evening. ESPN Network rebroadcast the game, which I recorded earlier and watched tonight. Not surprisingly, I found the game just as enjoyable the second time around. (After all, my Bulldogs won the game.) What was surprising, however, was that I was able to do this devoid of all the emotional ups and downs that accompanied the first agonizing viewing.
As I have reflected on all of this, I have come to appreciate a little more of the differences between my own earthly perspective and God’s Heavenly perspective. As I live my life, I experience each and every aspect of it “in the moment”.
Once that moment has passed, of course, I have the advantage of reviewing it as part of the past. But I can never know it in advance. I can never know the future. For this reason, I can never know the ultimate outcome of either any given experience within life or of life itself.
From God’s perspective, however, things are seen in an entirely different manner. This is because the Heavenly Father sees things in their totality. And thus, when He sees my life, He sees my past, my present, and even my future all at once.
He knows the outcome of every situation, just as He does the outcome of my life. He has already seen it all - past, present, and future - in advance. And all of this is to say that He already knows exactly how every single thing comes out!
In light of this, let me share some really good news with you. When you already know how something turns out, you are not condemned to ride the emotional roller-coaster that otherwise accompanies the experiences of life.
Pause and let that sink in a moment! Grasping this singular principle may well be the key to living a life of genuine joy! That’s right. It’s just that simple. After all, did not Jesus spend an enormous amount of time stressing this in His teachings?
In His most renowned message, the famed “Sermon on the Mount”, he repeatedly askes “Why do you worry?” He then goes on to remind us repeatedly that our Heavenly Father is well aware of our needs, our lives, and our destinies.
Is not His point, in part at least, that if we could only remember to see things from God’s perspective, our lives would be so much less stressful? I believe it is!
Experience has taught me that, very often, whenever some experience in life passes from the present into the past (as all of them inevitably do), I often look back and see things entirely different. I can only imagine, therefore, what all of life will look like once it is has been lived.
No doubt, only Heaven will reveal how often I fretted and worried over what I thought was some insurmountable situation, only to see that, as the Apostle Paul once told the Christians at Rome (Romans, chapter 8, verse 28), in the end “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.”