I heard a statement on the radio that really struck me today. Watching sports and getting emotional about it, as so many of us do, is an excuse to get wildly passionate about something that, in the end, has absolutely no lasting impact or real meaningful importance in our lives.
We get all excited that our team wins, we get teary-eyed at Mariano Rivera’s exit from the game, we get upset that our beloved boys of summer don’t get to play in October.
But it doesn’t matter. You still most likely went to the same job today, have the same family, same interests, same friends.
It also strikes me that sports makes us into barbarians. It’s not enough to love the Red Sox… you have to hate the Yankees. (This is not peculiarly American, some of the most passionate and dangerous sports fans in the world are fans of European soccer.)
I wonder at the violence that this occasionally produces, but I want to focus somewhere else.
I wonder sometimes if we don’t have a fixed amount of passion we get to exercise in our lives. If being intensely passionate about the Redskins would mean that I’d be less interested in the cause of justice in the world, or the cause of Christ in this world, or even the cause of plain old kindness in the day-to-day…
This is an awesome time for USAmerican Sports fans. We still get meaningful baseball for another month, but the football season is well underway… Can we make room to stoke the fires of passion we sometimes feel when we hear about an injustice we want to correct? Or can we be passionate about the worship of our creator?
Or is that energy only reserved for a field filled with young men beating up on each other…