by Dave Hanson
The discussion was passionate, overheated, aggressive, and tense. Abortion? Gay marriage? Obamacare? No, the topic was “Deflate-gate,” which clearly has many passionate folks on both sides of the issue, some ultra-loyal Patriots fans and those who hate the handsome millionaire with the supermodel wife (that would be Tom Brady for you non-sports fans).
I began to wonder… just how many people are there whose full-time job is related to sports?
- First, of course, there are all the players for all the professional teams in every sport.
- Next, there are all the players for all of the minor league teams in these sports.
- Each of these teams has coaches, trainers, and equipment staff.
- Then there is the administrative staff, including lawyers, accountants, marketing and media specialists, scouts, and public relations folks.
- And, finally, to ensure that we are aware of every salient sports fact, we have ESPN and all of the other sports communicators that provide 24/7 coverage and multi-faceted analysis of every possible sports detail, backed up by all of the sports radio and newspaper staff in the country, just in case we missed something.
And don’t even get me started on Hollywood and all of those employed to bring us “fake life”. What would we ever do without those brilliant folks who follow them around to ensure that we always know every current event in the lives of these idol-like actors and actresses?
What we have is a veritable army of people who make their living in entertainment of some sort. Now, honestly, this speaks volumes about our country and its economy where so much gainful employment is provided simply to entertain us. However, there is another perspective. Sporting contests are games, the outcomes of which are virtually meaningless in the grand scheme of life. And Hollywood TV shows and movies are not real (I know, for some of you, “breathe… breathe…”)
This is all, really, “fake life.” It is truly meaningless, but if we are not careful, it can all become a huge distraction from what is real, important, and, yes, eternal. Compare the passion of a sports nut to the passion of Jesus Christ in John 4. From the context, Jesus is tired, hungry, and thirsty. Yet, he takes time to minister to a woman’s heart, and when food finally comes, his response is not, “Quiet, the game’s on!” Rather it is:
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Or how about the Apostle Paul:
1 Corinthians 15:9-10
9) For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
These men needed downtime also, but their passion was to serve God and labor for the things that are important in life. So where do we stand? I enjoy entertainment and downtime myself; yet I also lament not having enough time to pray and study God’s Word. Now, of course, it’s not my job to judge anyone else, but it certainly is my job to examine myself to be sure my priorities are straight and that my passions are well-placed.
Some thoughts to ponder:
- How much time, energy, and passion do I devote to “fake life?”
- When I finally get to see Jesus, will he be impressed at how many sports statistics I can quote?
- And, finally, when the Lord Jesus does return, will I feel pangs of regret because, honestly, I could have spent more time on my Heavenly Father’s work than on meaningless “fake” endeavors?
I could go on and on, of course, but I should probably wrap this up; after all, the game’s about to begin….