July 19, 2009

The Sport's God

The final proof is in. The evidence has moved beyond a shadow of a doubt. The trial is finished and it's an open and shut case. God doesn't care about sports. Definitively.

There was a time when I wasn't so sure. I must admit to having uttered little prayers right before an important pitch or free throw involving my favorite teams. While I disagreed with the players who immediately gave God the credit for their victory (always wondering why he didn't get the blame for a tough loss), I could never say absolutely that God didn't have a hand in it. Now I think I can.

Today, a fifty-nine year old man led the British Open going to the last hole. All Tom Watson needed was a par and he would become the oldest person to ever win a major golf championship. By over ten years!

It was obvious that every spectator at the golf course was pulling for Watson, willing him toward victory. I sat watching with rapt attention a sport I couldn't care less about normally. This was a big deal, history in the making. An eight foot putt for par was all that was left. And...he...missed!

He slumped into a playoff and was quickly finished. Stewart Cink, not Watson, was the champion.

So if God cared a lick about sports, wouldn't Watson's putt have scooted in? There has rarely been a time in sports when a good thing that was this close has slipped away like this. Why didn't God just make it happen?

I think these are the choices we are left with:

1. God hates Tom Watson. God took Watson close to the heights of ecstasy just so he could crush him on the rocks of disappointment. Boy, what must Watson have done to deserve that? And is God really that petty and capricious?

2. God really likes Stewart Cink. He seems like a nice guy. Plus, he's going bald. Otherwise I know nothing about the man. But even if this was all about Cink, couldn't God have helped him out without crushing Watson?

3. God doesn't care about Golf. This is a strong possibility. Perhaps God is only interested in team sports. Prefers Olympic events. Or thinks of Golf as too hoity-toity. Or maybe he's only interested if Tiger is playing.

4. Or most likely, God doesn't care about sports. Doesn't give a rip if your team wins. Isn't helping any professional player more than others. Allows us to make decisions and decide the outcome for much of life, including sporting events. In fact is probably puzzled by how fun and games could become such excruciating events for us.

So, Once and for all can we stop connecting God with sports. Don't say that God is the reason you won (especially when it was definitely pass interference but didn't get called). Don't thank Jesus for your home run (especially when you take steroids). And most of all, can't we all stop believing God cares an iota about sports.

(Disclaimer: This all gets rescinded if the Rangers ever make the world series. It would be prayer vigil time.)

July 9, 2009

Good Idea!

I play basketball two or three times a week. Almost every time I play I hear the phrase "good idea!". In basketball parlance "good idea" means that the play didn't quite work out, but the thought behind it was good. It might be that someone tries to pass the ball into a tight spot. If the ball gets through it will be an easy basket. However, the ball is intercepted or the recipient couldn't quite catch it. The person who was supposed to receive the pass will then say to the passer "good idea."

Since I play with a lot of really nice guys, I think this is a way of being kind. Rather than saying, "wow, what a sorry pass" the person is given credit for the idea which was good. It's a similar vein to "It's the thought that counts." Since I tend to be somewhat sarcastic, I don't ever say "good idea". I'm afraid that it will come out as a snide remark about the person's inability to execute a simple task.

So there is the concept of "good idea". Nice thought, just poor execution. Sadly this is rarely used in other arenas. There are many great ideas out there, but sometimes the execution leaves a little to be desired. So here are a few things to which I wish to say "good idea."

Diet Soft Drinks

Reading for Dummies

Baked Potato Chips



Peanut Butter and Jelly in one jar

Water Wings



Self-Tanning Cream

Assemble at home furniture

Every Nerf Gun ever made

Spray On Sunscreen


Self-flushing toilets

User Names and Passwords

July 1, 2009

Sermon: Jesus and Ozzy Osborne

Ozzy Osborne and Jesus have something to teach us about violence as we continue our study of the Sermon on the Mount.

2009.06.21 Jesus and Ozzy Osborne.mp3