Do not love the world, including football

7 Aug

While I was in jail, my mind was swiftly stripped of most worldly concerns, including who wins a football game.
Thoughts were condensed to this: How do I get out of here? And when?!
The Iron Bowl clash between Auburn and Alabama came and went during my week behind bars.
As game time approached on Saturday afternoon, the jail staff turned the TV on and the trash talk started. And in jail, they know how to talk trash. I was in my cell reading but noted my projected score.
Almost all the inmates gathered in front of the TV which was mounted on a wall high out of anyone’s reach. The jail staff controlled the selection of the TV channel from the guard station.
The game started and the hollering and ribbing intensified.
While I wanted Auburn to win, I was in jail, possibly jobless, and all that came with that. And I was under the scrutiny of a judge who wanted more money from me each month than I netted after taxes.
The game was close. Cheers rang out from each group of inmates as touchdowns and takedowns mounted.
In the end, Auburn prevailed. (War Eagle!). The score I wrote down was amazingly close.
But the other inmates didn’t talk about the game long, maybe less than five minutes, after it concluded. The Iron Bowl seemed like a foolish matter to be concerned about while locked in jail. And it was.
“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17
This world, so beautiful in so many respects as God’s creation, will one day pass away. Even the majestic sunsets and sunrises, laughter of little children, a good meal with family and friends, and other times of joy will be things of the past.
Along with the world, the desires and allures of the world system will end as well.
But the man who loves Christ and is loved by the Father will live, truly live, forever. He will be living with God, which Christ called “life” in Matthew 18:9. He will outlast the world and live with God.
“The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire; and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:10b
Football this fall hangs in the balance, possibly joining the list of victims falling to COVID-19.
What is your reaction to the real possibility of no football this fall?
How much of your joy in life the next four months depends on football?
Is football an idol? An idol can be a spouse, child, team, food, parent, video game, social media, grandparent, money, lifestyle, job, girl or boyfriend, or as longtime Montgomery, Alabama pastor Aaron Fleming said, anything that draws us away from our God.
I hope football is played mainly because of the jobs which will be lost and businesses that will be hurt if there are no kickoffs.
But what does God’s Word tell us our priority should be?
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the LORD.” Jer. 9: 23-24
The Lord delights in those who seek to understand and know Him. Does He delight in me? Does He delight in you?

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