Monday, January 14, 2008

Sports and Identity

I learned an important lesson. If you want a way to get people to not read your blog than don't write anything. It is very effective. So I'll write at least 3 times this week. Thanks Rachel :)

I have a hate/love relationship with professional sports. I "hate" how we idolize athletes, pay them a gross amount of money to play a game, and provide a different judicial system for their infringements. But I love sports. I love the competition, the way it brings people together, the challenge of pushing limits and the possibility of achievement.

In one moment I am enthralled and captured by sports. But then the next moment I roll my eyes because we have ESPNEWS and a bounty of shows (PTI, Around the Horn) that talk about the same issue over and over again. (Do I really have to hear about Tony Romo and his vacation with Jessica Simpson, again?)
Something I have noticed in my own life and with friends is that we become passionate about sports. Some people become "overly" passionate. I'm sure you know the type. Their day, week, month, or year is ruined when their team looses. They go from a mild-mannered-civilized human being to a cussing-rage-filled-gladiator.

I get embarrassed when I see people defend their sports team like it is a life or death matter. I don't recommend this but if you want to know what is important to somebody, insult something they connect with.

For instance, if you insult my shoes I really won't care. Some people might but for me, shoes are shoes. I don't invest a lot in my shoes. If you insult Denison Witmer I'll be a little more perturbed because he is a musician I really respect and like. If you insult my parents I will became angry because there is some obvious identity there!

A buddy in college was, and still is, a huge OSU fan. If you criticized the Ohio State University, he erupted. Now there is nothing wrong with defending your passion and loves but we need to hold in careful balance with what we identify with.

There is a place for becoming upset and angry. Jesus did this when he walked into the temple and saw people using the temple as a platform for selling their goods. He was righteously angry because something he identified with was being attacked.

When we become irate I think we need to dissect the validity and cause of our anger. I'll admit sometimes I become overly irate when people attack my likes and passions. But day after day I shrug off the ways people misuse the name of God, marginalize the poor, and neglect opportunities to speak words of love.
Above all of the things we identify with we need to identify with God.
I'm a child of God - He is my Father - 1 Jn 3:1,2
I am Christ's friend - Jn 15:15
I am a fellow citizen in God's kingdom - Eph 2:19
I am born of God - 1 Jn 4:7
I have been adopted by God - Rom 8:15


2e said...

Good thoughts.

Josh said...

I finally checked out Denison Witmer...good stuff man, thanks for the heads up