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Stop Being a Sports Idiot

Stop Being a Sports Idiot

Idiot - a foolish or stupid person.

Living in SEC country there is a fervor we share as fans for football that is on the razor's edge of fun and idiocy.  At times it is hard to tell the difference. We spar one another when we win or when we lose. Nothing is going to change that. It’s too much fun. 

But it is somewhere in the rest of this that fervor turns into something else: when we critique the coaches and players ad-nauseum, when we live vicariously through people of whom we cannot control, for whom we make no sacrifice, and with whom we do not share in any of the suffering they go through physically to do what they do on the field for our entertainment. We go too far when we press upon them an image and an expectation that no human can possibly live up to; one of which we should all be thankful is not pressed upon us. So many times our future happiness is tied up in "a game." That’s not fun. That’s idiotic. 

Trust me, every player and coach that is actually on the field has a TOTALLY different perspective on what's ACTUALLY happening than we do - which is why I appreciate this clip so much. This is a coach, Mike Bobo, a former player and coach who has been away from the program at UGA for what, 2-3 years now, but this is it.  In about 10 seconds he reveals to us "the fan" the reality we tend lose sight of, that these are not idols. They are not even “ours” as if we have liberty to say what we want about them. They are like us. They are humans. 

(This video will open in a new window - please come back and read the rest!)

Being a small part of a football team behind the scenes for the past two seasons has reminded me of what it's really all about. You hear people scream criticism at a kid from the stands, but as a coach you saw that kid sweltering in the heat over the summer and you see his face - the blood, sweat, and yes - many times tears when he takes that helmet off in the locker room.  You know his story, but you also feel the pressure of a boy who is expected to fulfill everyone else's dream, a boy who everyone hangs their happiness on, a boy, or a coach who everyone thought should have done this or that differently - a boy through whom others are trying to atone for their past mistakes and losses -  and that boy feels like he failed all of those people BECAUSE HE LOST A GAME.  That's idiocy.   

There is no game worth crushing kids, but that’s what idiots do. 

What we say to each other, what you hear on Finebaum, the banter on Twitter and Facebook - we forget, these guys - coaches, players - they are human and there is something special that goes on between them. To be a fan of a team that lost a game doesn’t make you an idiot or a loser any more than being a fan of a team that won a game makes you an expert or a god for the rest of us.  

If you think that the outcome of a game is a reflection on your value as a person, then yes, you’re an idiot. If you think that losing a game gives you the right to devalue a person who roots for another team, then yes, you’re an idiot.  

If you live and breathe 24/7 through a set of coaches and a team of which you are not actually a part of the process of preparation in practice or execution during the game - then yes, you’re an idiot. If you actually try to argue with idiots as if it is your moral responsibility to save face for yourself, your state, or your team - then yes, you’re an idiot.  I’ve been an idiot and I just want you to know, it’s miserable being an idiot. There is a better way to watch a game. 

Stop being an idiot.

If you want to stop being a sports idiot; root for the kid, don’t put your future happiness on him. 

If you want to stop being a sports idiot; enjoy the game, don’t value humans based on the outcome of the game.

If you want to stop being a sports idiot; put what you say in perspective. It matters most only in your mind, it changes nothing. It’s a fun conversation. It’s not gospel truth.

If you want to stop being a sports idiot; think of what it would be like for others to talk about you and your family like that. Coaches are husbands, wives, dads, mothers, brothers, and sisters. Players are sons and daughters. These are people, not your pawns. 

If you want to stop being a sports idiot; watch these 10 seconds and appreciate the broken voice and the tempered tears. See the humanity in it.

Thanks coach. I’m sorry for being an idiot.

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Last Days, Lasting Love

Last Days, Lasting Love

Today is my mom and dad’s 47th wedding anniversary.  Today is also one of my dad’s last days.

In 1967-68 he served a tour of duty as a drafted soldier in Vietnam.  While there he was exposed to Agent Orange.  Almost immediately upon returning home he began having migraine headaches.  These episodes lasted on and off for three decades.  In 1996 he had a seizure which led to the discovery of a brain tumor.  In 2003 he suffered a debilitating stroke.  In 2012 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.  For the last 21 years he has gone through a regimen of steadily intensifying neurological treatments.  

There is no way to know for sure, but the prevailing thought is that his issues are linked to his exposure to the world’s most notorious herbicide.  Some men die in war.  Others die from war.  Either way it rings ever true, war is Hell.

When a couple is married they make a vow, for better or worse.  As a family we have seen better days.  We have enjoyed blessed days.

My dad taught me how to ride a bike.  He taught me how to play tennis.  We played a hundred games of football in the hallway with a wad of socks substituting for the pigskin.  I will never forget what it felt like for him to be on his knees, no way to get around him, and to run smack into his chest.  He would pick me up and throw me down.  It was awesome.    

My dad taught me how to suffer as an Atlanta sports fan.  When I yell at the TV it is because he convinced me early on that the idiot refs can hear my protest.  Herschel Walker is my favorite player because of him.  I dance whenever there is a beat because of him.  I try to hit the key of Bee Gee because of him.  I shake my leg when I sit still because of him.

Dad’s leave an indention on the souls of little boys that only grows bigger with age.  The older I get that indention becomes imitation.  

My mom has one solution for every ailment.  If you will get up you will get better.  And if you will not get up, she will get you up.  

As aggravating as her nursing skills can be, it is probably her dogged determination that has helped my dad survive so much and live so long.  They should have sent her to Vietnam.

And now we are in the worse days; dad’s last days.  She can’t get him up.  Today she laid down beside him.  

Dad is to the point that his lips barely move and there are no audible sounds, just breaths where the words used to be.  But he opened his eyes.  She took his hand and she said, “Happy anniversary.”  He touched her face and said, “Happy anniversary.”

Life can be good.  Even still the curse of sin in death eventually comes and is ever cruel.  As a pastor I have walked with many in their final days.  And now, as I watch my father fade, the hope of the gospel does not fail.  It is enough.

I am thankful to have parents who exemplify that marriage can last.  The hell of war, the pain of cancer; not even a daily, progressing, debilitating disease can extinguish committed love.  These are the “worse days” and she is a faithful wife.

Whether you are 4, or now nearly 44, you watch that sort of thing.  It leaves an impression.  Today as I considered the crush of losing my dad, I knelt beside my bed and committed even this unto the Lord.  Tonight, it was as if God said through them, “Watch this.”  And so I am.

I am thankful to have had my dad for as long as I have.  I am thankful to have had a dad like him.  It is as if these last days with him have flipped an “on” switch in my mind that contains reel upon reel of marvelous childhood memories.  It is imperative that we as parents fill our children’s hearts with great memories.

I am thankful to have a doggedly determined mother who has raised a doggedly determined son.  If I don’t have much sympathy for your whining and griping, thank Brenda.  Get up.  You’ll feel better.

I am thankful to be a 43 year old boy still watching his parents love one another just a few more days.              

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Don't Give Up On Your Job

Don't Give Up On Your Job

Most people are dissatisfied with their jobs.  A lot of men get so discouraged that they go from job to job looking for the perfect place to work.  Some men may eventually give up on work all together.  In this 90 Second Sermon learn why work is so hard and how you can make a difference instead of looking for something different.

 

 

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Don't Give Up On Your Marriage

Don't Give Up On Your Marriage

Marriage is hard. Most people start out in romance and end up with wrestling.  There is a reason marriage contains so much tension and the Bible explains it.  In this 90 Second Sermon learn why marriage is hard and why you should not give up on it. 

 

 

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4 Things Men are Prone to Give Up On, #1 Himself

4 Things Men are Prone to Give Up On, #1 Himself

A man can easily get discouraged with life and give up on himself.  Feelings of inferiority and a loss of significance become defeating.  He eventually feels as if he is not good enough for anyone and not good at anything.  

 

God gave Adam significance when he was created and restored his significance after his biggest mistake.  When we seek significance outside of what God gives, it turns to dust.  Watch this 90 second sermon and don't give up on yourself.  

 

  

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