I confess, I’m a sports junkie. It’s really my dad’s fault. I’m also good at blameshifting, but that’s for another blog. Growing up outside Nashville, TN, I became hooked on playing and watching some form of baseball, basketball and football year round. I loved them all. I lived for competition at every turn. As kids, we played something outside almost every day. We always kept score. I remember clearing the basketball court of snow in February and trying to play basketball with gloves on because we were tired of killing each other in football by that point. Other than when my cruel parents made me go to school, most of my growing up I was either playing or watching sports. At least we had sports at school!
My playing days are long since over. The last to go was my number one love, basketball. I had a good run at the Family Sports Center from about age 35-40, but sciatica put an end to my comeback. Recently the old Family Sports Center building lay in a pile of rubble. How appropriate, I thought, that’s the state of my game. I no longer compete in anything. How sad.
Anyway, now all I do is watch and hope. To be a sports fan, one must have hope. At least this fan does. I know famine is coming, but today, my hope is running pretty high.
I have four teams I pull for and place my hope in. Don’t worry about how they became my four teams, they just are – the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1972, Alabama Crimson Tide (football only), since I married Kim Duncan from Birmingham in 1990, our beloved Spurs since the days of David, and the Harper Longhorn’s Varsity boys basketball team, where our youngest son plays for two more years, Lord willing. After that, I won’t care.
Here’s the deal. To varying degrees, all four have a shot at bringing home the ultimate prize in the next twelve months. All four are close it would appear. Wouldn’t that be paradise? Forget the pros and college guys, wouldn’t that be a parent’s dream come true? I’d take one of those over 1,000 of the others! Tivy football parents understand. But what if all four of my teams did it in the same year? That would of course be too good to be true. It won’t happen. But it could happen. It might happen. I’m hoping it will happen.
But this is probably not wise. It’s fun to dream, but I better be careful. I better hold loosely and keep my head and not lose perspective.
I’d guess most of you reading this are Republicans. Do you have your hope set on one of these candidates to win the primary, then win the election and then turn this country around, whatever that means? Be careful. Don’t set your expectations too high. Our heroes are made of clay.
Hope is a dangerous and tricky enterprise. The hope of physical healing, financial success, church growth, the kids turning out like we want – sorry, but there is no direct, unwavering promise from God for any of these things in this life.
So where do we place our hope? Here’s something – “fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:13). The “completely” stands out, does it not? Here is rock-solid certainty – the return of Christ. Here is the certainty of a future grace that solves all problems. Here is a certain, direct promise to all believers that all will be O.K., not just O.K., but great and perfect at the “revelation or revealing of Jesus Christ.” And in light of that revelation, all the championship glory in the world will not compare.
Unless otherwise noted, all posts are written by Pastor Chris McKnight