Okay, as unpopular as this is, I admit it, “This time of year gives me heart palpitations,” (not good ones) but not for the reasons you might think.
For some, it is the best time of year while, for others, it is the most trying time of year.
Every August 1 is a reminder for me of one of the truest, yet for any person of faith, the most heartbreaking & heart-wrenching statements to have been spoken in modern times. Sadly, many dismiss it as a reality from which there is no recovery. The statement comes from the movie, “Concussion”. This movie depicts the ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle of Dr. Bennet Omalu against the NFL because of his discovery that brain concussions lead to CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). It is in the heat of this struggle that the following enlightening and disturbing conversation is said to Dr. Omalu;
“You are going to battle with a corporation that has 20 million people each week craving its product. They OWN the day of the week. The same day the church used to own, now its theirs.”
Add to this truth, that this sport (at all levels) owns the weekend and, sadly, many abandon God’s house, and by extension God, for weeks on end because sports have become so important to them. For the next 3 to 4 months, many church families will have to check the football schedule before they plan their ministry schedule. What’s worse is that if the church attempts to get ahead of the sports schedule, the majority will hear words like, “You better wait until the schedule comes out, so I’ll know my availability.” While this doesn’t seem to register with many, I get heartsick about it.
Two things of note: 1) I don’t hate sports. In fact, for most of my life I have played and pursued sports as a hobby, played regularly, and enjoyed it immensely. 2) All people have the freedom to choose what their hobby(ies) might be. That’s cool.
One of my friends has defined an idol in this way, “a good thing which we make the ultimate thing, so it becomes a bad thing.”
Sports (any of them) can make great hobbies, but they make horrible gods. They take without giving anything more than the momentary delight of a victory or just getting to attend the game. We can and should enjoy our hobbies but be cautious about raising anything above the one we are to ‘Seek First.”
Another friend said to me just the other day (on the golf course); “I don’t see much hope for America outside a great movement of God that results in both a great revival inside the church and a great awakening outside the church.”
Even so, Lord, do it and do it quickly.