Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Already?

Can you believe that May has arrived? May means NHL playoffs! The Stars had the chance to close out another series last night, but we'll have to wait a little bit longer. Sure looks like we'll be playing the Red Wings in the conference finals. Tuesday night's game may have been one of the best games I've ever watched. Both teams were playing their hearts out. There were hits (checks) being thrown everywhere, a short-handed goal, a penalty shot, and sudden death overtime. We came out on top. :)

I started thinking last night about that game and how it made me feel. I've heard so many times people wonder why people will cheer at a sporting event but not for God. I get this, but then I don't. The elements of the game that makes one cheer aren't usually present for me when I praise God.

I grew up going to church and reading the Bible. Although the Bible is the Living Word, I don't anticipate that I will read something that will make me jump off the couch with arms in the air. Maybe it would if I were reading the material for the first time. Growing up with it means that I gradually understood the Good News, and I definitely don't fully understand it. I am very thrilled, don't get me wrong, but John 3:16 is more of a mental thing than an emotional thing for me at this time.

I have decided that perhaps one way I will jump for joy will be if/when our children profess to be followers of Christ. If we discover this at home, you better believe I will shout out with joy. If it is at church and my child walks down to the front to be baptized, I'll be more subdued.

What are your thoughts on this? I know that sports truly don't mean anything and God is everything. But do you think I should be ridiculed for jumping up for joy when a goal is scored and not when a sermon is finished?

*** I felt I needed to add that singing may be my most emotional act of worship. I've cried, raised my hands, and done a small little jig while singing before. I'm referring more to the sudden and immense joy that can come from sports. I hope I am making sense and don't offend anyone in any way.


brittany vaughn said...

Brooke, you're not alone in this. I have often wondered if I'm doing something wrong if I get so excited over something like a simple sporting event, but half the time I don't even understand what I'm reading in the Bible. Last night I read Song of Songs/Solomon (whichever you prefer :P) and I had absolutely NO clue what it was talkig about. I understood the whole "Do not awaken love until it so desires" but what am I supposed to get out of the rest of the mumbo jumbo?? Then I hit rewind and read Ecclesiastes again (which I have read before) and found myself being greatly discouraged... The whole book is talking about how life is meaningless! Am I supposed to jump for joy and praise the Lord that my life on this earhh is meaningless?? Hmm... Maybe I need to do some more reading??


Lynn Leaming said...

I think perhaps for me it is more what is your passion? Can you talk about the Lord and the victory He has one for you in the same language you talk about the Stars. Would I want to meet your Savior as much as I would want to watch your Stars play Hockey because of the way you described them. Can we talk to each other about what God is doing in our lives with the same enthusiasm about our favorite play? I don't think your excitement for the Stars is wrong, I just think America as a whole worships sports a lot more than they worship our God. But that is just my opinion.

Alan W said...

Brooke and others,
I'm glad you have brought up this conversation. For those of us with this conflict, it is good that we struggle and search (instead of staying still)...and struggle and search together. There are many factors at play with why we are passionate about sports...and not so much our Lord.

Side note to Brittany Vaughn: Tommy Nelson has a video series on the Song of Solomon. It's great for those in dating and engaged relationships...and even marriage. Even for those not in a "relationship" he does a great job of explaining what the text is talking about. It opened my eyes to the meaning of the text and the beauty, passion, and lover that is our God.

2 factors I'll discuss:
I think a big part of it is actually identity. With sports, we seek to identify with a sports team. When our team wins we say "We" win, as though you are a part of the team. (Same with losing). I wonder if we have a difficult time identifying ourselves with Jesus. I can often see a stark contrast in the way he chose to live and the way I live. Plus, with sports we can cheer because of our need for competition. (Don't our cheers and passion increase during the playoffs when competition really matters?) With being a Christian we already know that Jesus has won the fight. So I think it is easy to become lazy in our "cheer" for him.

Factor 2: I think part of the cure is to "fall in love with Jesus all over again". When we fall in love with Jesus, it will change our lives. We will have a sense of freedom and joy when we seek to be his. Perhaps "seeking Jesus" is the first step. I hope to continue this on my own blog which I just started.

Okay a third. For me I think it has something to do with the fact that I don't think much about worshiping Jesus except when I go to church. I know that worship extends beyond the formal worship, but my life gets so busy and I don't invest the time during the week to "seek" Him. I think if we seek him during the week...through scripture, prayer, discussion on Jesus with friends/spouse, and blogging about Him...then we will draw near to Him and our passion for Him will increase...and you will want to cheer.

Great thoughts Brooke. Keep seeking.

Brooke said...

Thanks for the comments!

Brittany, you are not alone on trying to understand S of S. I agree with Alan that Tommy Nelson does an excellent job explaining this book. You also get a kick at the fabulous styles of the 80's.

Lynn, I hope to one day speak with as much excitement about God as I do about the Stars during the playoffs. I think that I may just take a more serious tone because I know the importance of our Creator.

Alan, as you know, I am a competitor. A BIG competitor. I also identify with the Stars, so when they compete, so do I. I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to me and sports.