Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sports Fast

I have a nagging feeling when I become engrossed in sports.

First, my conscience feels a sense of guilt whenever I use time unproductively. That's a standing rule for me; I believe I should be able to justify how I use all of my time.

Second, my conscience feels great guilt when I become deeply emotionally wrapped up in a particular sporting outcome. So in this sense, watching a fight in which I have no "dog" may effectively be a better undertaking than watching a game in which I have deep interest.

How sorrowful when I spend an evening stressed about a sporting event's outcome, an outcome God long ago foresaw, and which has no bearing on my worth as a person, or the value of my contribution in sharing the light of Christ with the world. This is especially so when an event is on the Lord's Day. Recreational or relaxing it certainly is not (as, say, sailing or fishing may be). It contributes nothing to my feeling refreshed and energetic the next day. It does not make me a better Christ-bearer to the world. How sorrowful when I spend the remainder of an evening angry or moody about a particularly disfavorable sporting outcome. There's a much greater fight in which I'm engaged, one which does have bearing on my worth as a person and a disciple of Christ!

So I have been after distancing myself from sports. I think baseball is the only one about which I really cringe at the thought of giving it up. I do enjoy it's microcosmic life drama. I enjoy sharing in a passion my grandmother and father had for the same team.

I will continue to reflect on whether the use of my time and talents on watching, following, becoming engrossed in, and discussing sports is fulfilling my calling in life. I invite you to do the same. I should note that I think sports could be wrong for me (because of the way I emotionally react), but perfectly fit for the next Christian.


Tim A. Troutman said...

That reminds me of what Pascal said - Man cannot be truly happy at the outcome of something unless if it were to turn out unfavorably he would be deeply disappointed. Except he words it much better - cant remember how.

Anyway - I pray this Lenten season will bring us all closer to God.

Anonymous said...

I love sports, but I admit that I am generally a decent Christian when watching baseball. Football sometimes brings out all kinds of mad passions.