This reflection comes to us from Bo White.

Growing up in Northern Illinois, I had the chance to attend the training camp of the Chicago Bears as a spectator and as a fan. And yes, attending camp in 1984 and 1985 was really fun. I remain a fan and follower of most Chicago teams which, mind you, isn’t the easiest path to take emotionally. The White Sox won the World Series in 2005, and prior to that, the last time the pale hose or white stockings won a championship was the same year that the Bolshevik Revolution ushered in a new era for Russia. Of course, in 1919 the White Sox made the World Series as well, but that was immortalized by several films, documentaries, and books that chronicled how several players collaborated with a gambling syndicate to fix games. A few players were banned for life, and only a few showed up later in the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams.

Early in January 2019, Cody Parkey clanked his field goal attempt off the upright, and the Bears lost their first home playoff game since 2010 enabling the Philadelphia Eagles to advance. The kick was partially blocked and relentlessly mocked over and over as replays littered the internet and were overanalyzed on the television. One week later, former Bears wide receiver Alshon Jefferys, in some karma-laden cruel moment, dropped a pass only to have it intercepted by the Saints defender sending the Eagles home and sending some fans’ twitter feeds into a frenzy.

Some of you may remember Bill Buckner, former first baseman of the Chicago Cubs, missing the ground ball in the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets series in 1986. Others of you may remember the fan interference in the Chicago Cubs game against the Florida Marlins in 2003 and poor Steve Bartman had to unlist his number, and despite promptings from all kinds of media outlets, has not returned to Wrigley field since. Oh, by the way, the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016 which broke a drought that goes back to 1908.

How many times should we replay the failure of others or even our own personal disasters? The sports world has immortalized some moments and in a strange way, so have we. I wonder if the apostle Peter replayed things in his mind every time he heard the rooster crow? I wonder if the apostle Paul ever replayed the stoning of Stephen when people came to hear him preach? Did Adam, after he and Eve left the Garden of Eden, ever replay the words, “it is not good for man to be alone,” over and over until he couldn’t take it anymore?

In our technological age, we have even added camera angles, slow motion, color commentary, and a panel of experts to the failures of other human beings. As the Super Bowl is always played on a Sunday, it may be worth noting that Sunday morning usually reminds churchgoers that “there is now no condemnation,” (Romans 8:1) and God rejoices over you with gladness and singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

We may replay our failures and those of others, but God has already forgotten them and has other things in mind for us.

Bo White is the author of A Time to Question Everything: Embracing Good News and Bad Days (Wipf and Stock, 2018) and a caffeine addict living in central Texas.