I am probably one of the few fans in “Bulldog Nation” unhappy with the firing of Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt. It’s not primarily because I believe him to be the most decent, devout role models in all of coaching, though that it significant. It’s because of why he was fired. He leaves as the second winningest coach in Georgia history, winning nearly three-fourths of the games he coached, taking the team to a bowl game every year of his tenure, and getting them within 10 seconds of playing for the National Championship just three years ago. However, he had not ever led the Dawgs to hoist the big trophy and lost some “spotlight games.” Angry fans can produce some statistics that show perceived shortcomings, but fans of most all other college programs (minus your Alabamas, Ohio States, LSUs, and a very short list of others) would gladly trade for the success Mr. Richt brought so far in the 21st Century.
Certainly, many of you would rightly point out how relatively trivial sports are and how inordinately its fanatics obsess and exude over it. But, as that fanbase represent a significant part of our current culture, observing their mindset and worldview helps us understand a lot of other things going on in this culture. It is seen in the way we spend money and accumulate material things. It is seen in the impatience and impulse in relationships that leads to wrongs from sexual immorality to divorce. It is even seen in the road rage that comes when we feel somebody is slowing us down or keeping us from getting to our destination as quickly as we possibly can. No doubt, you could help me build an impressive list of other ways society is bent on the instant gratification of its wants and longings.
It Is significant to read about how God wants His people to behave. I cannot imagine He cares about who coaches what team except when passion turns to sinful words and actions. But, in a general way, He has spoken in His Word about the mindset Christians should adopt in every circumstance of life. He commands His people to be patient in this life, when dealing with everyone in this life (1 Th. 5:14) and when living in view of the end (Js. 5:7-8). In fact, Paul tells the Colossian Christians, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12). Reconcile that with a spirit of impatience that demands its wants and wishes immediately. We must be careful to incorporate principles that show a self-disciplined life like Paul’s who could be content whatever the circumstances (Phil. 4:11-12).
I’m not worried about Coach Richt and I’m still a UGA fan. I know that weight rooms, stadiums, and memorabilia will be in the big bonfire at the end of time. What we all need in our lives is a spirit that clearly demonstrates to the world what Christlike patience, endurance, and self-control looks like in our daily dealings!