The Dog Pile

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Similar to the big leagues, every year there is a High School All-Star game.  Fifty of the best High School players in the nation get an opportunity to be nationally recognized and play in a professional stadium.  For the third consecutive year, the West team beat the East.  When the final out came, the West team rushed out to the mound to celebrate in a dog pile.  A few seconds later, the East team decided to join in on the celebration and jumped on to the dog pile as well.  This joint celebration was a nice change.  It wasn’t so much about winning and losing, or celebration and grumbling.  It was just about having fun.

Even though I don’t know where these young men stand spiritually, I think they at least provide a good example for us to keep things in perspective.  See, hobbies and activities, like sports, are often taken way too seriously in our culture.  In many ways, they have become a form of idolatry.  In other words, people spend so much time engulfed in these activities that they are no longer a fun game, but have become the most important thing in life, even above God.

In Luke 10, Jesus had a conversation with two sisters, Mary and Martha.  Martha was extremely focused on being a good host and preparing a meal for Jesus.  She soon became upset at her sister for listening to Jesus’ teachings and leaving all the work to her.  She said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (40-42).

Even though Martha wasn’t engaged in a necessarily “fun” activity, she shared a similar mindset of many today.  She was simply focused on the much less important parts of life.  It’s easy to get focused on the trivial aspects of life.  Even if it is a hobby or something we love to do, we can quickly develop the wrong perspective about what is important.  Too often parents and teens allow a variety of activities to become more important than they are.

Let’s do our best to keep the sports we play and the hobbies we enjoy in the right perspective.  Let’s have fun and show good sportsmanship when we do them, but remember they are not more important that spiritual things.  In the end, nothing is more important than being focused on Christ and learning more about Him.

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