As I vaguely mentioned in the last post, football doesn’t interest me. Like at all. The horror. In a big football town like Denver, that’s like saying “I don’t like breathing.” Seriously, having been gone from here for the last fifteen years and living in a town without pity or an NFL Team, I had forgotten how bat-spit crazy football fans are. Bronco fans in particular are an enthusiastic breed of their own. Once upon a time, this kind sport worshipping drove me nuts. But for some reason, it doesn’t anymore. And neither does thanking God after a touchdown.
Before I got sober, what people believed in and worshipped really got under my skin. I would often grumble about how those with religious beliefs were sheep and that how could people believe in God when so many had died in his name? Oh and I loved to play the “most religions discriminate against gays” card. But regardless of whether or not any of this is true, the fact of the matter was that the bigot in this picture was me. I outwardly mocked and looked down upon people with spiritual lives and frequently I hid behind the guise of “it’s because I grew up Catholic.” I was too cool for God and really that was too bad. Deep down inside, underneath that thick and shiny cynical veneer lived a person who needed something to believe in. My alcoholism and drug use took me to a deep, shameful place that lead me to believe that nothing larger was at work in my life. That only small, crumpled up, self-destructive me could get myself out of the messes I was in. Naturally, it seemed hopeless.
I never had the lightening bolt God moment nor did I convert to a religion when I got sober. I just did what the Big Book suggested and slowly my own spiritual life developed. The fact that I never died under the influence or that my family didn’t abandon me during my time of need were evidence that something was at work. As I went to meetings in Santa Monica, I felt warm ocean breezes and knew those were things I couldn’t manufacture so that must be a higher power at work too. After a while, those breezes showed up when I really needed them. When it was too hot or when I was crying at a bus stop or when all I wanted to do is get wasted or just feeling alone. Sounds goofy right? But my relationship with a higher power is my own, silly, serious or otherwise.
And Tebow’s is his. Now I’m not sure God cares too much about football or if rappers thank him at the Grammy’s but in the end it’s none of my business. During the first two years of my sobriety, I studied a lot of meditation and learned to cultivate my own version of prayer and talking to a higher power. So what if someone else just happens to do that on national television or if they choose to worship aliens or have 12 wives? These things no longer concern me. In fact, they never did. And that such a spiritual change could occur in a hater, judgmental cynic like myself could get to a place of respect and understanding for the beliefs of others is truly proof of some kind of miracle for sure.