Larry Deeds

The sun continued to rise and set and the world continued turning while Super Bowl fans and players may have forgotten that it was only a game.

There were parties, good fellowship, food and enjoyment.

There is nothing wrong with that.

But the amount of money spent on one evening for a game is really quite obscene.

Politicians who claim to care about the poor, the economy and the climate spent millions on ads that show they really don’t care much at all. Businesses spent untold millions to convince you to buy their cars, beer or chips. Thousands of man-hours were expended before, during and after the game. I wonder what good could have been done had this time, attention and money be put to good use?

Would these same people put their money into a televised or live gospel crusade? If Franklin Graham were speaking, would we support his message the same way? Would we invite friends, buy pizza and wings and have a crusade party?

I enjoy sports. While I was not a star, I played football, baseball and basketball in my younger days. I also bowled, played volleyball and church league softball and a game that is somewhat similar to golf. That was done at a time when sports were games. They were not life and death experiences.

Sports did not take place on Wednesdays or Sundays. Many parents had rules that games did not interfere with church activities and coaches and schools understood and accepted these rules. Local teams did not travel for hours and days to play games. Parents did not take off from work or plan to attend every single game that Johnny and Judy played. Games were simply that: games. And the important things of life took precedence.

Today our entire culture has increased the value of minutiae and devalued those things that are of lasting significance. There is nothing wrong with sports, on every level, until it interferes with the family, with friendships, the spiritual, the academic, and the lasting. Very few Johnnys and Judys will play college ball; even fewer will make the pros.

A few years ago I had a young lady in my class sobbing during our prayer time. She was involved in travel ball and explained it took all her time; she had no time for herself, her family or her friends. When I asked why she did it, she explained that her parents made her because they put a lot of money into it? What was the value of that to the young lady or her family?

But all will be involved in family life. All have schoolwork to do, jobs and careers to plan for. And each one has an eternal soul and spirit that will one day live forever, and the plan for that destination must be settled on this side of the grave.

Maybe we’ve passed the fail-safe point in our society and culture as far as maximizing the trivial and trivializing the important. But as churches cease the function for which the Lord brought them about, when Christians look more like the culture than the Lord Jesus, when Bibles stay closed and unused, when prayer goes unprayed, when we love ourselves and our things and experiences more that our Lord and others, then we are a world doomed.

We may not implode this year or next; we may live in this quagmire of the unimportant for years to come, but we’ll never see the end to the hate, the crime, the addiction, the abuse, the molestation, the bickering, the hunger, the disease until we put our feet on more substantial and steadfast ground.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

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