Seth Udinski, FISM News
As NFL fans await Super Bowl LVII, future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady is still dominating news cycles following his retirement announcement last week.
Yesterday, Brady announced on the Collin Cowherd podcast that he will put off joining the Fox NFL booth until 2024. Brady had reached a contract agreement to join the Fox team as a football analyst prior to retiring. The deal is a massive 10-year deal worth $375 million, which is more money than Brady made during his near-quarter-century playing career.
.@TomBrady tells @ColinCowherd on @FS1 that he will start his broadcast career with FOX in the Fall of 2024. pic.twitter.com/rckDnIVeQO
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) February 6, 2023
Brady said he wanted to take the year to “learn” and not rush into anything, believing the extra year will give him time to catch up on “other parts of his life.”
I want to be great at what I do, and that always takes some time, strategizing, learning, growing and evolving. I have so many people to rely on and support me in that world, too. It’s going to be a great opportunity for me to take some time [to prepare] for my Fox broadcasting job, but also catching up on other parts of my life that need some time and energy.
Multitudes of former teammates, coaches, and media personalities have voiced their support for Brady after he announced his retirement.
Bill Belichick praised his longtime quarterback on his podcast, saying Brady was “the greatest player. The greatest career. The great, great person. It was such an opportunity and an honor for me to coach Tom. I guess it’s got to end at some point. It’s the greatest one ever.”
For many Patriots fans, this was a healing moment as Brady and Belichick parted ways after the 2019 season under controversial rumors of a fractured relationship, despite playing and coaching together for 20 seasons and winning six Super Bowls.
Author’s Biblical Analysis
The Brady retirement saga has become a fascinating story. Some rumors have surfaced that Brady will flip the switch once again, not unlike fellow NFL great Brett Favre and NBA stalwart Michael Jordan, and come back for one more season, though there is no credence to these rumors now.
From a Christian perspective, there is much to discuss here as well. Some pundits have raised the question of why Brady chose to play one more year in the league following his initial retirement announcement at the end of the 2021 season.
They argue that Brady’s return to play one more season, in which he led the Buccaneers to a disappointing 8-9 record and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Dallas Cowboys, was a catalyst for his public divorce with his now ex-wife Gisele Bündchen, who allegedly wanted Brady to retire so he could be more present with their family.
Regardless of the support for or against this claim, there is a great lesson for Christians here: We must prioritize that which is most important.
Some things are of utmost importance, while some are significant but not vital, and others are hardly important at all. We must use the wisdom and discernment God has given us and gives freely to all who ask (James 1:5), to prioritize the things of utmost importance.
For the Christian, I believe the pecking order should look something like this.
Ultimately, our highest aim in this life is to glorify God. We can do this in a variety of ways, including living a holy life, growing in our progressive sanctification, consistently praying and studying the Bible, covenanting with fellow believers in a local church, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone in our midst, and faithfully fulfilling our roles and duties God has set before us, for His glory.
I believe the next level of importance is heavily related to the first level, and often the following things we do can at the same time be ways in which we glorify God.
If we are married, the health of our marital relationship should come before absolutely everything, with the lone exception being our relationship with God. As a man, my wife is the one who, after God, I should love and cherish most. On the day of our wedding, I promised before God to do so until death does us part, and it would profane His name if I were to break that promise.
Immediately below this would be our children. Our children are gifts from the Lord, given to us for a time as our primary mission field. I have two young children right now, and after my wife, my greatest energy and motivation should go towards them equally: to care for them, to provide for their needs, and ultimately to cultivate in their hearts a love for God.
Below children would be several things of great importance, but they must not rise above those previously stated. I believe this includes our extended families, families of birth, and friends. It is especially true if these people are fellow Christians and we seek to both hold them accountable and be held accountable by them.
I would also include in this level our vocations, the things God has called us to do. For many (myself included), this entails performing a job and working for a salary to provide for my family. I am to be a faithful employee who works with all my heart for the glory of God and makes the work of those above me a joy. For others, it may be fulfilling the role of a stay-at-home mother, a full-time student, or a retiree who is looking to make the most of their time remaining on earth before God calls them home.
I believe anything after this level may still be important (such as physical fitness and health, downtime, and even hobbies), but they must not jump above any of the previously stated levels.
It is especially important for Christians to remember to keep a proper pecking order. If, for example, my work becomes more important to me than my daughter, or my physical health becomes more important to me than my marriage, I must repent of this and devote my energy to that which is most important.
Ultimately, we must remember that God gives us the grace we need when we fail. As we seek to do this, may we never fall into works-based pietism. Instead, may our chief end be to glorify God simply as an overflow of the joy in us because we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus!
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17