Archive Poster : January 2007
We often glorify people for their sporting prowess. Edson Arantes de Nascimento (otherwise known as Pele) scored more than 1,000 goals in his professional career including winning three World Cups. Jack Nicklaus won 18 majors (golf tournaments) in his career. Brian Lara holds the record for the greatest amount of runs (11953) scored at Test level.
On one level this is fair enough. The accomplishments stand in comparison with other competitors and those that shine brightly do so for good reason. Their skill is sublime, their sense of timing, exquisite. Their steely perseverance compares favorably with tree roots cracking concrete. There is a sweet perfection these great sports people exhibit in their art, so technical it takes years of training to even begin to appreciate the mastery they employ so effortlessly.
And yet it is also slightly absurd to glorify such inane pursuits. Hitting a ball of leather with a stick and running 22 yards more than 10,927 times doesn't quite compare with discovering penicillin. Yet it dominates conversations and mind space far more than many greater and more profound achievements.
Our sporting heroes distract us easily. Even though we don't actually 'worship' them, we desperately admire them, we speak glowingly, even reverently of them... and let's be honest we want to be them. To worship an object or person means to give it ultimate meaning, importance and significance. It means allowing that object to dictate your decisions. It means putting your trust in that object.
So is there anyone who does deserve to be worshipped? Yes, Jesus. This is what Christians do, they worship Jesus. There is no one else that gives ultimate meaning. No one else is as important or significant, no one else knows the best decisions to make and no one else is as worthy of our trust as Jesus. Why? Because he is the one who rescues us and he loves us so much. 1Peter 3:18 says: 'For Christ died for sins, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God'.
Jesus hasn't given Australia 10,000 Test runs. He's done much better, he's brought an offer of forgiveness of sins and an offer to share an eternal innings with him. There's even a pardon for the foolishness of worshipping things other than God. Jesus has brought meaning and purpose to the billions around the world who worship him as God. And he's brought everything from the inane and trivial to the majestic and mighty into perspective and well into place under him.
So, enjoy the sweet lethargic lulling of the mind that cricket brings this summer. Enjoy the sublime skills of the sporting superstars that stride across our world... but do think carefully about who you worship. Put your trust in Jesus over the leather-thwacking skills of mortals because a time is coming when every knee shall bow... and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11)