When I woke up this morning, I awoke to some interesting news. Lane Kiffin, head football coach at the University of Southern California (USC) had been fired overnight. For those that are not sports people, it is rare for a coach to be fired in the middle of the season. It is even rarer for them to be fired hours after a game. But that is what happened to Kiffin.
Now let me preface what will follow by this. I am from Tennessee. I was born and raised in Tennessee. I grew up watching the University of Tennessee football team play. They were my favorite college football team growing up and they are still one of three teams that I root for every week (along with University of Washington and Wofford College).
So I know who Lane Kiffin is. He is the coach who was the coach of the Volunteers for one season before leaving for the job at USC. That in part has led to the last couple of years not being good for UT. At the time it happened, I was mad. I thought it was stupid to leave after one year and go to USC (granted I didn’t like USC because they are a rival of Washington too). As time has went on though, I’ve let that go.
So when I woke up this morning to hear that Kiffin had been fired, my first thought was literally “Oh”. Now granted part of that was I was still waking up but still. But I turned on TV and got on twitter and it was everywhere. And I saw a lot of people that are UT fans celebrating and all that.
It got me to think and as I was sitting through the worship I thought about it some more. The sermon this morning talked about grace. Grace. I once heard a great definition of grace. Grace is getting a gift we don’t deserve. God shows grace to us in that while we are sinners, He still loves us and showed that by sending Jesus to die for our sins. God shows us grace in that he forgives us when we ask for repentance. He gives us new life and the opportunity to be called children of God. That is grace.
So what does grace have to do with Lane Kiffin? I plan on showing grace to Lane Kiffin. Followers of Jesus are called to be like Christ and one of those ways is by showing grace. It is easy to pile onto Kiffin right now. But he’s human just like I am. He’s made dumb decisions just like I have. He’s said dumb things just like I have. And I know if I was in that position, I would hope that grace would be shown to me.
Sports is a fun and cool thing. But like a lot of things, it needs to be in it’s proper place. It can be a useful tool in pointing to Christ instead of trying to replace Him. So today, on a day that is a day of corporate worship of Jesus, I’m going to show grace to Lane Kiffin. And hopefully that grace shown to him will point to Jesus.