This is Just the Beginning of Something
I realize I may elicit the ire of some for “spiritualizing” the Super Bowl, but I believe ALL of life is spiritual. Too often we tend to compartmentalize our lives into the secular and the spiritual when, in fact, God is in everything.
SEA—H-A-W-K-S …..Go Hawks!
If you are anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, particularly Seattle, those are the cries you will hear everywhere you go. And “12” is the number you will see…flying from buildings, painted on windows, marked out by green and blue lights on front porches, and fans proudly wearing the green and blue of their Super Bowl Champions. The atmosphere is literally charged with an electricity and excitement in a city whose charge comes mostly from the caffeine in the Starbucks cup.
But this region has been transformed by the first-ever championship win by the Seattle Seahawks.
Something More Going On Here
A short time before the Saints play-off game, I began to sense what so many others have also felt: there’s something more going on here. This is about more than a football game or a Super Bowl win. Suddenly, Seattle has been thrust onto the national stage, perhaps even the international stage, and the spotlight is on the Pacific Northwest. The Super Bowl drew the most viewers of any event in the history of television. That’s amazing! What a platform we have been entrusted with. I am so proud of our Seahawks, not just for their incredible win, but for all they stand for as men of character and integrity. They unabashedly proclaim their faith and belief in Jesus Christ, and their off-the-field lives show it.
Just the Beginning
God is up to something. In the post-game interviews, two statements struck me as being prophetic. One commentator stated that the Seahawks are thrilled with the victory, but they also are not satisfied with this win alone. They plan to continue winning and that “this is just the beginning of something.” I sense this is prophetic for the body of Christ, particularly in the Northwest: We are at the beginning of something and that “something” is the next move of God…with God displaying His power, His strategy for winning, using the talents and gifts He’s given His people to move us forward. We have the first down and we’re heading for the goal!
In the natural, Seattle is located in what is referred to as “the convergence zone.” A meteorological condition that produces particular weather patterns due to the action of winds converging from the ocean and over the mountains. There is a very clear correlation between the natural and the spiritual and I believe that we are in a time of convergence when the prophetic words that have been sown over this region are about to break forth in strong and demonstrable ways. As the timing of God “converges,” I am expecting to see testimonies of healing and miracles become almost commonplace in their frequency, to be the mark of our “normal Christian life.” A place where we are no longer surprised when a miracle happens because we expect it when we pray. We have already been experiencing signs of this in the Northwest. The timing of this Super Bowl win is not coincidental.
Why Not Me? Why Not Us?
The other statement that struck me was by our great quarterback, Russell Wilson. He said his father taught him to ask “Why not me?” from a very young age. His attitude toward winning the Super Bowl from the beginning has been, “Why not us?” Indeed! A good question for us to ask here in the Pacific Northwest – the most “unchurched” region of the country – “Why not us…why not a move of God coming out of the Northwest?” A good question for each to personally ask concerning the dreams and visions God has put in our hearts…”Why not me?” Why not you…to see the answer to that prayer you have been believing for; to watch healing released as you pray for the sick; to receive prosperity and success for your business; to encounter God in such a fresh, new way that you will find yourself jumping up and down as vigorously as you did when Harvin ran that kickoff touchdown!
Story in the Numbers
As the stories and statistics continue to unfold after the game, it has become clearer and clearer that there are too many spiritual applications for it to be mere coincidence. Let’s begin with the 12th man. We know that the “12th man” refers to the Seahawks fans and the powerful impact they have had on the team this football season. The Super Bowl numbers are a fascinating study:
• Super Bowl 48: 4+8=12.
• Average age of the team: 26 – 2×6=12
• First score of the game: 12 seconds into the first quarter.
• Seahawks first TD – 12:00 minutes left in the second quarter.
• First score in the second half: 12 seconds into the third quarter.
• Broncos were the 12th team to be shutout in the first half.
• Seattle passing yards: 206 (Seattle area code)
• Seahawks average yards per play: 6.2 – 6×2=12
• The loss by Manning was his 12th playoff loss.
• Super Bowl victory was the Seahawks 12th playoff win.
It’s pretty interesting when you consider that 12 is the biblical number of government. What is God saying? Could it be that God is establishing something governmentally in the spiritual realm in the Pacific Northwest and is showing us a picture of that in the Super Bowl numbers?
I was talking with a friend about the 12th man, and she shared that the 12th man reminded her of the great cloud of witnesses in heaven. The roar of the 12th man at Century Link Field is enough to cause a measurable movement of the earth on the Richter Scale. What if we could hear the roar of the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on as we move the Kingdom forward through our obedience to the call of God on each of our lives?
And that brings me to another point. Over and over again, when discussing how they won the game, every player and coach reiterated that it was the entire team that won the Super Bowl: the defense, the offense, and the special teams. Each player gave 100% all the time and did what he was gifted and trained to do. There were no “superstars” at the end of the day…the entire team was the “superstar.” Are we seeing a picture of what the body of Christ could accomplish with each one committed to the team and using the talents they have been given in reaching for the goal God has put before us?
The Foolish Confound the Wise
Russell Wilson, along with many of the other players, was not the first choices in the draft picks. In fact, most were 5th round draft pick! Here’s what one sports commentator said in an article entitled, “2012 NFL Draft Grades: Ranking Teams That Failed on Draft Day”:
No. 1: Seattle Seahawks
After one of the worst picks in the first round I can ever remember, the Seattle Seahawks didn’t draft any positions of need or draft for the future.
Pete Carroll is proving why he didn’t make it in the NFL the first time. Not only was Bruce Irvin a reach at No. 15, the Seahawks proved they were oblivious to their madness by celebrating their selection.
As if the day wasn’t bad enough, Seattle selecting Russell Wilson, a QB that doesn’t fit their offense at all, was by far the worst move of the draft. With the two worst moves of the draft, Seattle is the only team that received an F on draft day.
Wonder what the writer of that piece was thinking as he watched 700,000 fans line the streets of Seattle to celebrate the Super Bowl victory on February 5. Russell said in an interview that some have commented on his small-by-football-standards stature. His response was that it just shows you what can be done if you work hard and use the talents God has given you…even for a 5’11’ quarterback in the NFL. God often chooses “the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor 1:27-30).
Unlike the typical after-victory bravado that comes from the winners after an event like the Super Bowl, it was not so with the Seahawks. They honored God and acknowledged the contribution of every player and coach on the team. The obvious respect and esteem the players hold for each other reveals men who have built bonds beyond the field and hold relationship as a core value of the team.
Identity – Who You are In Christ
Coach Pete Carroll has been known for providing a second chance to those who have been overlooked or tossed aside because of prior personal struggles. His philosophy has been that if you work hard, you deserve a second chance. Carroll appeals to players’ strengths, opens their eyes to the possibilities, and challenges them to reach their potential. Bruce Irvin, Seahawk linebacker who had skirmishes with the law and drugs earlier on, said of Carroll, “We like people who are real. That’s what Pete is, and we respect him and play so hard for him. I’m happy that Pete Carroll trusted in me and believed in me. He knew I had changed. How could I not want to prove him right?”
Coach Carroll stated that they didn’t play the Super Bowl differently from any other game. They kept with the strategy that had brought them to that win. He made a profound statement referring to how he coached the players: he let them be who they are and didn’t try to change them. That’s a declaration of identity if ever I heard one! From the mouth of a football coach, God is again spotlighting the topic He has been speaking to His body about for the past several years: Identity– knowing who you are in Christ!
At the celebration at Century Link Field, Coach Carroll said that this was not “about just one game.” They intend to keep on winning and are looking towards next year’s Super Bowl. That’s “present-to-future” thinking, to use Graham Cooke’s phrase. I don’t imagine the Seahawks will spend too much time in the months ahead focusing on this victory, as spectacular as it is. They are looking to the future. Even as we should be – personally, moving towards everything God has destined us to be, and corporately, gaining victory after victory for the Kingdom.
No doubt there are many more spiritual parallels we could draw from this remarkable victory. I so believe that God is speaking to us through the events of the past few weeks, and in particular, the past few days. And judging by the posts on Facebook, we’re getting it! What a time we are living in!
I, for one, believe we are at “just the beginning of something.” How about you?
– Diane Fink