“A man takes his seat at the World Cup Final. He looks to his left and notices that there is a spare seat between himself and the next guy.
Man # 1 says: Who would ever miss the World Cup final?
Man # 2: That was my wife’s seat. We have been to the last five World Cup finals together, but sadly she passed away.
Man # 1: That’s terrible, but couldn’t you get another member of the family, friend, or someone else to come with you?
Man # 2: No…they are all at the funeral!”
Well girls, it’s that time of year again…football season. While hopefully no one reading this is such a die-hard fan they would miss their spouse’s funeral for a game, I would like to use this joke to illustrate the need for proper priorities in the life of the christian.
I don’t attend a lot of football games, but I can’t say I don’t enjoy them when I do. The atmosphere is simply one of a kind. The chill of the Autumn air, the fresh scent of delicious foods from the concession stand, the team spirit that unites each person in their respective side of the bleachers. Yet even in the midst of the experience, every single time I am at a football game an overwhelming sense of disappointment washes over me. I can’t help but to think of how MUCH excitement a piece of leather kicked across a yardline brings to people, and how LITTLE excitement the gospel often brings to the same crowd.
Why is it so easy to be first in line at a football game, but so hard to be up in time for church?
Why is it so easy to check up on the scores for our favorite team, but so hard to look up passages in God’s word?
Why is it so easy to stand and cheer for an athlete, but so hard to kneel and pray in thanksgiving to the King of Kings?
The answer is quite simple: Priorities. Every person has them, including me. For instance, washing my dishes is high priority for me; sweeping the floor? Not so much. A silly example perhaps, but that is my point…worldly priorities are of little importance, and whether we like to hunt, fish, shop, scrapbook, knit, play an instrument, watch sports or anything else, these are liberties that the Lord gives us for our enjoyment and are not evil in and of themselves. There is no sin in watching the game. Rather, what I want to put forth as a reminder is simply this: what is our TOP priority? Are we more concerned with touchdowns, or touchups? (On our faith, that is) – 2 Timothy 2:15
Remember, Jesus warns: “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. (Matt. 6:21) We ought to find our full satisfaction in Christ, and not in worldly pleasures. A little liesurely enjoyment may be harmless, but be cautious – if we are “too busy” to find time to read the bible, pray, assemble with the saints, or help our fellow man, then it is high time to eliminate some unneccesary activities!
“…whoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35b)
I want to encourage each and every one of you that has perhaps been negligent in touching up on their faith.
Do you have a hard time remembering to read the bible? Put it in a place that you will easily see it so that you remember to daily brush up on God’s word. Set up a reminder on your mobile device! Find a system that works for you! Can’t find time to pray? Turn the radio off and pray when you drive…pray when you fold laundry…make it a priority! It will soon become habitual and you will learn to find enjoyment in praying the more you engage yourself in the act. Contrary to popular belief, religion is not about feelings but rather about actions. It is not wise to act upon our feelings, but ironically, if we act on what we know is right, good feelings will follow!
If you have to choose between the funeral (the cross) and the game (worldly pleasures), choose the funeral. Always choose Jesus (our bridegroom) – for the game is temporal…He is eternal!
God bless, and take a chill pill!
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.