Sunday, July 12, 2009

His Eyes Are on the Sparrow

I just read my devotional and corresponding passage of Scripture. The passage itself was Matthew 10:16-31. In this section of Scripture, Jesus is telling His disciples that they will go through all sorts of persecution, betrayal, and hatred because of the fact they follow Him and do things in His name. They should not worry, however, because when they speak, they speak with the Spirit of the Father. They should not worry because those who persecute them and kill them can only kill the body and not the soul. If they are God's house, they are in His spirit. No servant is greater than the master. God cares for them all and they should worry because things are in God's hands. The writer of Matthew uses the quotation about God watching the sparrow and they are sold cheaply, how much more will He care about us. This is a similar quotation as Jesus in Luke 12 speaking of the wild flowers of the field. Different contexts, similar thought, do not worry about your own well-being. God will care for you.

I prayed to God take my worries into His hands that I may have peace in my heart. I prayed that He would give me the strength to relinquish them completely. All those temptations; my worries regarding work, friends, family, and Amanda; and my feeling inadequate . God gave me this image of all these things in balloons floating away into a partly cloudy sky. I can't get them back. They're not mine. They're not in my control. They're in God's hands now.

Even now there is a temptation to jump and reach them, but I cannot. God loves me. I kept reminding myself of this fact this morning. No matter what I do or what I've done or will do, I am worthy of love because God says so!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sports Tribalism II

A friend of mine on facebook has been inspired to take up this topic, but from the negative standpoint. I still maintain my stance that sports tribalism is largely of its own accord, harmless, innoculous, and actually feeds basic behaviors without resorting to killing and bloodshed.

I do think he has made some good points, a couple of which I want to address here.

1) The focus upon sports is entirely too much. While I believe that due to its nature as entertainment, yes, it is publicized. However, it is entirely too focused upon. People's days sometimes hang on the balance of how their team did. Betting leading to gambling addictions and problems within sports and out are a problem of its status. And perhaps, the worst, the allure of fame brings temptations of drugs that the young adult cannot always handle. Like, Hollywood though, the price comes with the fame. If we are to be entertained by people who desire to entertain, then there comes a risk. I do not like the fact that some fall to it. But, that is more due to a societal problem than to sports itself. People can either come at this from greed or from poverty. Either way can be dangerous.

2) People who enjoy sports the most tend to be people who need to participate or at least exercise the most. This is a generalization, a gross one in fact. But, it is not without some truth. At memorabilia shows, what kind of guys do you typically see? My stereotype of said persons is a big balding fat guy, possibly with a beer gut. That is why it is good that athletes are starting a movement with youth to get them exercising. Using their celebrity as athletes to promote athleticism should be expected.

Back to this point of celebrity. These men and women are celebrities. Many of them have charities and many of them heavily support charities. There is a goodness that arises from athletes as celebrity. Good organizations can do good things for the community. It can inspire us to help. Yes, I know the other side of the coin is advertisement for products and the capitalist system, but that's not entirely bad either.

With any good thing as I see modern day sports as being, there is the tendency to overdo it and to inject it with negative things and commercialize it. No Christian would deny that Christmas is a very special day, but it is highly commercialized and it is really overdone in society. And those who find it very important still are part of the problem. But to stop sports as it is now would take a societal reversal which would have a huge impact on our economy for good or ill. And to stop sports is unnecessary anyway. It is an entertainment industry. It just needs to be slightly edited to not be so strong an influence on the daily life of the average human being.