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Monday, January 18, 2010

running up the score and other things

Okay, the Dallas Cowboys deserved to lose yesterday. They played poorly, often making me wonder why they even showed up.

Yes, I do understand that poor tackling will lead to touchdowns.

But....that is no reason, I repeat, no reason to run up the score at the end of the game.

It's called respect for the other team and for the game.

I always teach, "in order to gain respect, a person (team) must show respect".

Yes, I do understand that Minnesota Viking fans will not agree with me.

Perhaps you read recently of a Vikings football fan who was almost killed in a tragic horse accident. He fell from the horse and was nearly trampled to death. Thankfully the manager of the K-Mart store came out and unplugged it.

What do you call a Minnesota Viking with a Super Bowl ring? A "thief".

How many Vikings does it take to win a Super Bowl? Nobody knows. (They've never won one).

One season, the Vikings and Packers ended the year tied. Every tiebreaker the NFL had was used to break the tie, but the tie remained. Which team would be the NFC Central Champion? The NFL office was consulted. They said to figure it out locally, something like a coin toss would be fine. Well, Minnesota and Wisconsin being the fishing states they are, someone got the idea of a 3-day fishing contest. Both teams agreed.

On the first day, the Packers caught 100 fish, while the Vikings caught none. On the second day, the Packers again caught fish, 200 this time. Once again, the Vikings were skunked. Things were looking bad for the Vikings - the Viking coach was desperate. He called one of his players aside, and dressed him in green and gold. "Go over to the Packer camp and find out what they're doing!" he was told.

The Viking player returned a couple of hours later. "I know what they're doing Coach!" he reported excitedly. "Well what is it? asked the Coach.

"They're drilling holes thru the ice!"

It was 27-3. Not much time left. And Minnesota goes in and scores another touchdown to make it 34-3.

That is rude, classless and tasteless.

Sports etiquette says "thou shalt not run up the score."

My personal feelings? I hope that the New Orleans Saints go all the way. I hope they blow the Vikings out. I hope that Brett Favre goes 5 for 23 in the passing game.

Even little leaguers know that to run up the score doesn't show much class.

Anyway.....are you getting how I feel about the game yesterday?

Now then, let me take off my "trash talkin sports hat" and put on my "following God with all of my heart hat" again....

Forgive me for my verbal transgressions.

We had wonderful services yesterday, especially around the altar. "God is moving," as my friend David Dewes says.

It's beginning to be a new day at our church. I am excited!

I can see the level of anticipation and expectation of God's Spirit raise each week.

And then at our life group last night...wonderful stuff. We are watching John Ortberg's DVD series, "When the game is over, it all goes back in the box."

Great stuff. The lesson, when all is said and done, we need to focus on eternal things and not temporal things - because all temporal things go back into the box. We can't take anything with us - it is all left behind, except:

The lives that we influence.
People we have lead to the Lord.
Raising our kids in a godly way.
Serving others
Helping people in the time of need

These are things that stay out of the box after our time spend on this planet is gone.

John Ortberg says this:

"Actually in some ways it’s really ancient. There were manuscripts back in the Middle Ages that compared life to chess. They said, "Pawn or king—they all go back in the same bag." But the particular metaphor that I talk about, I had actually heard used first by James Dobson. It reminded me of playing Monopoly with my grandmother back when I was a kid. She was this ruthless Monopoly player. She would always win. She understood that money’s the name of the game. You’ve got to acquire everything. I would always lose. I’d have to give her all my money and get really depressed and disappointed.

And then one summer I played all summer long with a kid who lived in my neighborhood, and I gradually learned what it took to actually win at the game. I was finally able to defeat my grandmother—my moment of great glory—until the final lesson came: when the game is over, it all goes back in the box. All the houses, all the hotels, Boardwalk and Park Place, all that money—everything is going back in the box. That really is sort of the central metaphor for the whole deal of life.

We get messages from the media, from ads, from school, from our peers that life’s about nothing more than trying to become master of the board. That money is how you keep score. It will give you identity, make you secure. And there are very bright people who play the game really well. They only forget this one small detail: that the game is going to end; and when it ends, it all goes back in the box."

Let's remember this day to focus on the eternal and not the temporal.....It will do us well...especially when our football team loses the game....

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