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Friday, May 23, 2003

Edifier du Jour-1 Corinthians 13:11-13
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
This morning, I was reading a Corner post on sports as an escape from the world and their wives. I had opted not to tape last night's Pistons-Nets game (we have our home group on Thursday nights), for I wouldn't have an hour-and-a-half stretch to watch it at home without ignoring Eileen. Now, I have more important things to do than watch basketball. There are a lot of things I did as a single guy that I don't do as much while married, and most of those are either sports or game related. Sports are an escape from the world, but do we want to escape from the world? I haven't seen either of the Matrix movies, but if I understand the underlying premise, the world is a computer program that illuminated ones like Neo can escape from, giving a third-millennia spin on the Gnostic paradigm that the flesh is evil and needs to be escaped. We don't need to escape. It's not that we're not looking forward to Heaven, but God has us in the world for a reason. Whether it is Gnostics or hyper-Calvinists that sneer at a fallen and totally depraved creation, people who will look down their nose at creation influence us. As we move away from naturalism and hedonism, we can often move so far away into the spirit realm that we forget that God's given us bodies and lives to live here and now, being so heavenly-minded that we're no earthly good. The more we deal with God and with each other, the more we can polish off that dim mirror. The greatest gift is love, and you don't practice love much in sports. A sports invocation I've used in the past is "May God have mercy on you, 'cause I sure won't." Sports are good to keep a competitive edge to one's spirit and to keep in shape if you're actually doing the sport rather than just watching it, but unless it's coupled with teamwork and community, it doesn't do much for developing the fruits of the spirit. Praying and talking with your wife might not be as fun as a good basketball game, but it brings more joy in the long run.

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