Thursday, November 17, 2016

God and the Cowboys

(Reprint from October 2014)

The weekend just past was one of the most exciting for football lovers like me.  People are still trying to absorb some of the greatest upsets in the history of college football.  For the first time in keeping records and statistics, five of the top ten teams in the nation were defeated.  It probably goes without saying, but those losing teams found themselves considerably lower in rankings for having a losing weekend. 
The pro games were just about as crazy as the college games.  My team, the Cowboys, won their fourth in a row for the first time in three seasons.  And yet, Dallas, with a home game, had fewer fans at the stadium than their opponents, for the third time this year. 

I started searching for the college rankings this morning.  Likewise, I scanned through all the NFL scores and the team standings in their respective divisions.  That was when I came across an article from FOX Sports, listing 10 things the Cowboys should do in order to make the playoffs.  I was expecting to be enlightened by secret maneuvers that would score more touchdowns, but it was a simple statement for the team to "stay healthy."  The other nine recommendations were just about as exciting as the first, but there is some irony in the "stay healthy" suggestion.  After all, two teams of eleven, all running at full speed and colliding with the opponent, while keeping your mind set on staying healthy???  I think not.

One other of the 10 suggestions was to have more fans at the game than your opponent, especially if you are the home team.  The only way I see that actually happening is for your team to sell more tickets than your opponent.  (I figured that one out all by myself.)

I couldn't help but think of the number of times I have read and even taught lists of recommendations on how to live the Christian life.  or how to face temptation.   or how to be a better parent.  or how to become a Christian leader.  You can scan through the Christian books in any bookstore and a large number of the books offered will be giving you a list of suggestions on how to be more successful in living.  

While I plead guilty to offering lists on a variety of Bible topics, the more I see lists I am leaning in the direction of getting away from their use.  I do need to clarify that I have seen some suggestions given in lists which were good and productive.  And, it can be argued that the Bible even gives lists on several topics. It's when we substitute our lists and neglect the teachings of Scripture, we lose the real answers. 

Some sports writer at Fox Sports is making the big bucks to start a list telling the Cowboys to stay healthy.  Today I'm letting you know, free of charge, your life needs to be wholly and totally committed to the ways of God who loves you enough to give his son to die in your place.  Call that a list of one thing if you wish, but that's the only hope for our troubled world. 


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