23 June 2010
Sport and Perspective
Wimbledon is on.
World Cup in on. Vuvuzelas are off.
The US golf Open finished Sunday.
State of Origin is on and off.
Baseball is in full swing fast approaching the All Star game.
As is Twenty20 cricket.
NBA finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers (are there any lakes in LA?) ended as it should have, within four points after seven games.
Next week the Tour de France begins.
...are you weary yet?
I'm so sorry about the attention so many around the globe are paying to so much that would be counted as irrelevant viz history. At the end of the day, when a man should be in bed, many in Australia are turning to the television to find out about their favourite team, Italy or South Korea or whoever is playing England. And I'm sure that for them it matters. And in a way it does. We gain some satisfaction if our side wins. We even use the term "we" to describe the nation or the national team. Imagine the pains just now in England and France, heavily endowed sides who didn't even make it past the Group stage. Ouch.
Today Samantha Stosur got knocked out of Wimbledon by a qualifier from Estonia. Sam wasn't happy. Loads of Aussie fans were crushed. Sam came so close in the French Open, coming in second last month. But now 'we' are pinning all our hopes (our national hopes) on Lleyton Hewitt in the Gentlemen's singles or Alicia Molik on the Ladies side.
It just sounds so funny to me. If Lleyton wins I will eat dinner. If he loses I will eat dinner. What happens in London is irrelevant to me. And in South Africa and in the golf and tennis and Tour and ... you get it.
But am I so callous as to not care? Not in the least, but things need to be put in perspective. I value a good tennis match or love watching my wife on her cycle ride. I play golf and squash most every week also, so it's not that I'm anti-sport.
What annoys me is the linkage and the personal consideration by which we gain status. What gives me worth is not Andy Roddick or the US soccer team. What gives me worth is not Lance Armstrong or an American winning the golf.
My worth comes from the Creator, who is himself worthy of all consideration. My worth is found in relationship with him, who gives us plenty of reason to think well of ourselves. God is the preeminent pro-human. He is the one who made us, after all, and wants to enjoy us and for us to enjoy him forever.
If Erasmus is the ranked civic humanist, God was the chief humanist before that. He said in the Psalms, "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty! Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas." (Psalm 8. verses 3-8) God shared with us his life and prestige. He keeps his glory, all by himself, and that's fine. But he lets us enjoy him, to be proud of him.
And our worth comes in shared relationship. Maybe that's why it's so disappointing that people find their worth in the football or golf. They are so close. It IS about shared relationship and shared glory. It IS about shared meaningfulness and shared worth. But it's not in the basketball in LA or Boston. It is only found one place. In the Gospel of Y'shua; the truth that he cared and did on our behalf.
Listen to the most famous verse in the Bible. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life." Wow, God cared about the people he made, he counted us as worthy, as worth his love and action. And he gave his son as a cost to buy us back from sin and hopelessness. He thinks we are worth a lot. You will find your worth in agreeing with him.
And put down your vuvuzela.