This coming Sunday is special for 2 reasons. First, this is the 1st Sunday of the much discussed and anticipated pro football season. Pro football is the most popular sport in America. With the football lockout, which tied up much of the sporting news this summer, the expectations of the season ahead have been greatly enhanced. There are many that are checking their fantasy teams and seeing what changes they need to make now that Peyton Manning won’t be playing for much of the season, if at all. I have never been a fantasy football owner for reasons I will explain later. But I do know this, fantasy football has become such a huge cottage business that the NFL will now be posting fantasy football players’ scores on the scoreboard at the NFL games. Certainly the 1st day of football season is a huge day for millions across America.
The second thing that is special about this Sunday is a much more serious issue. This Sunday marks the 10th Anniversary of the tragic events that occurred on September 11th, 2001. What a contrast we see in these two events. As millions celebrate the start of football season, thousands of other families will gather to honor this day with tears of sorrow and pain. I remember in the days following those tragic events how everything seemed like it was going to change. Many churches were filled as people sought answers to the big “Why?” question. Congress even stood in unison. But how quickly everything returned to normal. So this Sunday pro football begins, while thousands of other attend memorial services or maybe grieve in their own quiet, personal ways.
I mentioned that I’ve never owned a fantasy football team in what now has become a huge industry. Let me explain why. First, I see way too many people today escaping from their lives in a world of fantasy. Men who escape into a world of fantasy through pornography. Men and women who escape into a world of illusion through internet affairs, thinking they have met the person of their dreams after a few emails. People who live way beyond their means because of the fantasy world credit cards can create. No, I don’t need to be part of a fantasy football league.
The second reason I am not involved has to do with priorities. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he writes about the issue of focus and priorities. In the 9th chapter and in verses 24 and 25 Paul wrote “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreathe, but we an imperishable”. Football as it is currently presented can easily become a time consuming idol. It can fill up our Sundays and just about everything in between. I imagine owning a fantasy team can also become another time consuming energy drain. I need to focus my eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ who offers to us an “imperishable wreathe” of reward. There are too many things that serve to distract us from completely and fully serving Jesus.
This Sunday each of us will have to decide who or what we will worship. I hope you will join me in worshipping the living God of the universe who alone can make sense of the tragic events that occurred 10 years ago.
Devoted to Christ,