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Legacies & Legends - Part 3

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BY HENRY ROY

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:37

Although hockey fans know and understand that Lord Stanley’s Cup is the hardest and most grueling championship trophy to hoist, the Super Bowl has risen to epic worldwide fanfare and for a one game setting offers a compelling do or die spectacle of achievement. I am deviating from my regularly planned hockey-inspired Penalty Kill to capture some of the lessons brought to bear in the most recent installment of the Super Bowl due to their uncanny tie-ins to a Legacies and Legends perspective.

With his 5th Super Bowl championship in 7 attempts, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has solidified his legendary status amongst the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He has now separated himself by accomplishing a feat that has never been done before. The irony of the 5th Super Bowl victory and associated ring is that Tom was forced to sit out the first 4 games of the season due to his role in the deflate-gate scandal from the previous season in which the NFL declared that the Patriots were cheating in one of their games by deflating the game balls that were being used.

Tom Brady drew the ire of this scandal as it was stated that he preferred throwing footballs that were slightly less inflated than league regulations which lead all investigative inquiries to the conclusion that Tom was at the tip of the spear with his involvement and hence needed to be punished. Tom served his subsequent punishment and the rest is now history as he and his team reined in another Lombardi Trophy in the most dramatic overtime comeback fashion in Super Bowl history. After being down 28-3 late in the third quarter, Tom Brady led his Patriot team back to tie the game in regulation and then subsequently win on the first possession in the overtime frame.

When reflecting on this most recent Super Bowl win for Tom Brady and the Patriots, the word perseverance is at the forefront. Webster’s defines perseverance as continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. Overcoming the suspension adversity, the inevitable injuries to key players (i.e. Rob Gronkowski) and the changes in personnel that impact all NFL teams these days is a true tribute to the Patriots’ and the dogged determination and focus of Tom Brady as their de facto leader. When also reflecting on Hebrews 11 and the recognized players on God’s stage, we can also see that the attribute of perseverance was front and center. The bible references the greatness of perseverance in and through all things that we must encounter as followers of Christ and the almost requirement of it in our character.

Romans 5:3-4 says Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Hebrews 12:1 says Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Although the old testament persona Job is not referenced in the Hall of Faith by the writer of Hebrews, James uses him as prime source example in perseverance. In contrast to Job who had everything he owned and cared about taken away from him, Tom Brady is a man on top of the proverbial world with almost nothing seemingly taken away from him. However, a few seasons ago after winning his third Super Bowl, Tom did an interview with famed TV news program 60 Minutes. In the interview as you will see below Tom was candid about all of his accomplishments but yet still thinking there has to be something more to this life.

As followers of Christ and those who put our trust in the source of our salvation (Hebrews 5:9), we should be prepared to give an answer to those, like Tom Brady, that are seeking for more to this life. 1 Peter 3:15 states, But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

The members of the Hall of Faith without question faced adversity and had every reason to question their faith at times or in essence ask the question, “There has to be more to this life but I am not sure what it is?” Yet I believe they would have had an answer to cultural icons and legends that are searching for the truth and they did not have the benefit of living in an Anno Domini (year of our lord) calendar space where Jesus had completed His work of salvation on the cross. Their answer would resonate simply in my view…obedience to God leads to a life well lived and fulfilled!

Items for thought:

  1.  Are you prepared to give an answer for what you believe to those that may be searching for the hope and fulfillment that you have in you?

  2.  Think of a time where you had to overcome adversity and persevere? Did you rely on God for your strength or did you try to go it alone?

  3.  Read Job Chapter 1 and consider all that Job had to endure? Could you persevere without questioning God and staying faithful to His call on your life?