The grass on which the Super Bowl was played: The power of unseen service

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The grass on which the Super Bowl was played: The power of unseen service

February 3, 2020 -

Super Bowl LIV is now over, with the Chiefs’ victory consigned to history. So is the field on which the game was played.

Miami Gardens’ Hard Rock Stadium hosted the event. To build the field on which some of the sport’s greatest stars would play, they installed a new carpet of fresh grass. It was an extra-thick layer of sod that weighed roughly 660 tons.

The manager of the company that grew the turf said, “We try for it to be strong enough to withstand weather and 330-pound linemen. We want it to be bulletproof.” The company’s owner added: “We can’t put a guy making $30 million on a field that will fall apart.”

The turf cost $225,000 to grow, not including transportation and installation. It was delivered to Miami in 660 rolls on thirty trucks.

By now, however, the field is gone. The company went in at 1 a.m. Monday morning to remove the turf. A portion of it will be used at a horse farm; the remainder will become filler at a plant nursery.

Why the rush?

So a tennis court and stadium could be built on the field.

Watching the Super Bowl along with 100 million other people, I had no idea that the field was such a story. But without a turf that could withstand the game, the halftime show, and everything else that transpired, the experience would obviously have been significantly different.

The Super Bowl turf is also a parable, pointing to the fact that those we cannot see often change the world we can.

The power of unseen service

Our culture celebrates musicians who perform at games and in concerts, but, without the sound crew and technical staff, we could not hear the music they produce.

We venerate movie stars, but without the film crews that make their movies, we would never see their performances.

We fly the world on airplanes with little thought for the maintenance staff that make our flights safe.

We travel on roads paved by unseen workers and live in homes built by carpenters we never meet.

I am indebted today to the technicians who built my computer and the engineers who constructed the digital pathway that brings my words to you. And to those who furnish the electricity upon which both depend. And to those who built the building in which I am working and the desk on which I am typing.

We could go on. The point is simple: we owe more people for more services than we know.

In response, we should be grateful to those whose unseen work improves our lives. And we should renew our commitment to serve whether our commitment is applauded or not.

Scripture instructs us: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). In serving others, we follow the example of the One who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

When our story is written, what will matter is less what people thought of us than what our Lord says to us. When we use our gifts and resources for his glory and the good of others, he will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21, my emphasis).

Whom will you serve today?

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