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SIMMONS: Lions fan wants God in huddle
Question of the Day
Thanksgiving Day. Time to begin a season-long celebration of what matters most in life - faith, family and food.
Oh, and football.
We have lots of reasons to tell God “thank you,” whether it’s for a job and good health, the love and support of family and friends, or your church and prayer circle. Lots of us also praise such simple things as opening our eyes and waking up every day as His work.
And there are those who pray for change, like Rocky Twyman and the 2008 Pray at the Pump movement, which used the power of prayer to seek lower gas prices and pray that Americans be blessed with the finances to fill our gas tanks. In April of that year, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.11. Today, it’s $2.86.
There’s no denying what happens when speaking truth to power, which a prominent Detroit minister and his flock are hoping to reveal on Thanksgiving Day.
The Rev. Horace Sheffield III of New Destiny Baptist Church is on a mission on behalf of the Detroit Lions. Yeah, the same Lions who got their second win this season by beating the Washington Redskins on Halloween and broke their 19-game skid in 2009 by beating the Redskins.
“We’ve had [running back] Barry [Sanders]. We’ve had new management. We’ve had new coaches. We have a new field. Maybe it’s time to get God to help,” Mr. Sheffield, a season-ticket holder, told Detroit media.
It’s not just the team they hope to inspire. Mr. Sheffield wants to help rally the entire Motor City, whose residents and businesses remain shell-shocked by the recession.
“When you’re already down, you’re already unemployed, there’s already trouble and then to have to deal with a losing team and a losing season. Look at the difference with the game that they played last Sunday. You could tell they were deflated. So, we want to inflate the city by inflating the team,” Mr. Sheffield said.
Sports fans are always praying for their teams. You’ve seen them, heads bowed moments before a 3-2 pitch or with prayerful hands when a guard is poised for a game-winning basket at the free-throw line.
Bowing heads to give thanks for a bountiful life is the origin of Thanksgiving, but turkey-day football is a tradition, too. American high school and college football games and the post-Depression era professional games have become cultural mainstays.
While most of our families don’t have the financial wherewithal of, say, the Kennedys of Hyannis Port, Mass., to indulge costly intramural sporting, we sure can muster up the spirit. Besides, who do you think has the better sense of humor? Pop Kennedy or the Almighty, who guides the hands of NFL schedules?
And what a sense of humor will be playing itself out on this year’s annual day of thanks. Are you ready?
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About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
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