Controversial soccer star Megan Rapinoe — known for her progressive politics and penchant for kneeling during the national anthem — has once again found herself in critics’ crosshairs after uttering head-turning comments about God’s existence.
Ms. Rapinoe, who tore her Achilles’ heel in the final match of her career, said at the post-game news conference that the injury is somehow proof there’s no Almighty.
“I thought about it a little bit,” she said. “I mean, I’m not a religious person or anything, and if there was a God, like, this is proof that there isn’t. This is f—ed up.”
While many simply dismissed the comments as a strange or benign quip, others took stauncher and more perturbed positions, with former ESPN host Sage Steele calling the moment “narcissism at its finest.” Meanwhile, former NFL quarterback Devlin Hodges delivered a more poignant and equally notable reaction.
“Wow,” he wrote on X. “For those seeing this, just know there is a God and he has wonderful plans for those that believe in him!”
Mr. Hodges’ response really gets to the heart of the matter, as Ms. Rapinoe’s comments about God sadly display crucial realities about the mistakes humans often make when assessing the ups and downs in our lives.
Too often, we treat God like a genie, begging and pleading for our wishes to be granted while openly chiding or internally doubting the Lord when reality doesn’t match our demands. But as Mr. Hodges astutely noted, it all comes down to God’s plan — and trust.
Humans are called to entrust our lives to God, leaning not on our own understanding. We are promised in Proverbs 3:5-6 that when we submit our lives to God, He will “make our paths straight.”
This is a difficult to live up to even in the sanest of times and an especially precarious quest in our culture — a vortex in which everyone is incessantly told they get to make the rules, act on their emotions, define themselves and set the parameters.
Unfortunately, life often comes at us fast, throwing us for loops, and sending us in directions we might never have imagined. In those moments, we have a choice: Will we trust in the greater plan and submit — or reap and sow bitterness?
It’s hard not to juxtapose Ms. Rapinoe’s reaction to her admittedly disappointing injury with Sen. Tim Scott’s recent statements about the suspension of his presidential campaign. It was a “loss” that could have left him reeling or questioning the Lord, yet Mr. Scott took another approach, offering a master class in gratitude and relying on God’s plan.
The South Carolina Republican said Sunday in an interview with Fox News he believes voters have made it clear it’s not his time to serve as president and he plans to “keep working really hard,” looking forward to future opportunities.
“Romans 8:28 is such an important Scripture,” Mr. Scott said. “It says that, ‘All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.’ I think the message is clear for me right now.”
Rather than blaming God, Mr. Scott fully submitted to the Lord’s purposes for his life — a humble and critical reaction in the midst of incredible disappointment. Despite wanting the presidency, he recognized it wasn’t God’s plan for him right now.
The senator could have lamented, fumed or expressed frustration after spending months exhausting himself as he traveled, stumped and met with voters. Instead, he chose to submit, exuding a peace and solace that might make little sense to people who lack such faith.
As for Ms. Rapinoe, we don’t pretend to know what’s in her heart. But it’s worth noting that, regardless of her injury, her ascension to soccer stardom and the fame and accolades she has enjoyed for years should spark, at a minimum, a wave of gratitude.
Rather than claiming one unfortunate event is proof there’s no God, true thanksgiving would entail collecting all the evidence and exhibiting an exorbitant amount of appreciation for all she has accomplished and been given by the Creator. Perhaps she has already done some of that and it’s been overlooked, but these latest comments are certainly painting a different picture.
Regardless, Mr. Scott provides a road map to this destination. His response is the living embodiment of Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version), which reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
And that’s exactly the message we need in this season of thanksgiving — and frankly, each and every day. Our lives might not go how or where we want, but we can have faith that, through trust and seeking God’s hand, we’ll end up exactly where God intended.