When we ask our young adults to rejoice in suffering and be glad in tribulations, what are we really hoping to get from them?
maybe they're not even suffering in the way paul meant. maybe paul wasn't talking about bad bosses, mean deadlines and frustrating clients.
maybe he didn't even mean making ends meet, where one end is a new condominium and the other end is paying off a 50 thousand dollar wedding.
maybe he was talking about what he was talking about on every other occassion - suffering for the gospel.
11:48 am ]
Friday, November 07, 2008
THEOLOGY OF PRAYING FOR FOOTBALL
I'm not kidding. it's a theology i hold.
i pray for football.
i pray for no injuries. i pray for good and fair officiating. there's a lot to pray for in football that doesn't make you out to be a psychobiased fan. i pray against bad weather, bad calls and maybe i'll work in praying against bad support like racism and hooliganism. i pray for good football and that fair, honest teams win.
and then there's the bit where i pray for my team. yes, my
team. i pray for the first eleven, all the bench warmers, the manager, the coaching staff. i pray for success for them. i pray for good team selection, good substitutions, effective strategies, and always a favourable result. i pray that whatever my team touches turns to gold. or silverware, as the case may be.
does Almighty God care about football? does he influence results? if he cared, would he be a liverpool fan?
the truth is, i have no idea. i secretly dislike it when liverpool fans call robbie fowler god, cos i think it's harder to pray to God when 60,000 fans are mistaking him for their centerforward. but yes, i don't know if God cares for football results per se, but i do know that he cares for people, and footballers are people.
on some level, he has to care.
and if my christian life is supposed to be cohesive and whollistic, then there's no wriggle room for me to keep some things spiritual and other things secular. my prayer life would have to consume every aspect of my daily experience.
think about it. if kaka was in your cell group, wouldn't you surround him before a cup final and pray for him, that he will do well at his job, that he will receive favour from his bosses, that he will find success and that his success will glorify God's name?
if we can pray like that for our friends, who are dear to us, why can't we pray like that for our sporting heroes, who are also dear to us?
i pray for football, but it's conditional. i have to testify about it. and so i do testify about it. today, i'm testifying that i prayed for 30 minutes of the second half of chelsea v liverpool and in the dying minutes, i was sitting outside the hall at YA camp, arms wrapped around my knees and i was praying in tongues that liverpool would hold on to their 1-0 lead. which they did. and i thank God for it.
was it God?
i prayed for it so i have to believe it is, don't i? and i do. sincerely, i do. and when i was praying, i remembered malouda jumping over steve finnan in the same fixture last year to win a bizarre penalty that kept that day's score 1-1. i asked God if he could reverse that decision tonight. as i prayed i also saw riise's own goal in the champions league semifinal and i asked God why, and if he could, if he could reverse that result tonight. i prayed. those two very bitter goals from the past were reversed that night. do i have any room to disbelieve?
some people ask me, "fergus, what if there's a chelsea fan out there praying for his team to win?"
in answer to that question, fair game. we both pray. but i'll pray anyway. cos maybe there isn't. maybe nobody is interceding for chelsea. maybe God looks across the entire population of football fans following the game that night and he's waiting to see if anybody sincerely believes that He can make a difference, and is exercising that belief by verbally breaking into prayer.
to be honest, i think lots of people pray too. maybe they don't make it a pre-match ritual. i'm not really that crazy yet as well, but maybe i'll get there one of these days. maybe if liverpool's title chances start to crank up then i'll call a holy fast or something.
i dunno man. maybe you've never prayed for football but you've prayed for something equally insane. care to share?
Labels: christianity, football
6:00 am ]
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
COULD IT BE?
Last night i was reminded that the richest 1% of the world has 40% of its wealth.
the top 10% of the world's richest - that includes you and me - own 85% of the world's resources.
the poorer 50% of the world has access to only 1% of the world's wealth.
you know, i remember reading the quip "in order to make poverty history, you must also make affluence history". thought it was cute. perhaps a little left-wing to hold up against centrist thinkers.
today, i think, maybe it's true. maybe if there's really enough in the world to go around, then the problem of having poor people is really inseparable from the phenomenon of the wealthy.
2:43 pm ]