December Thanks #11: Football

Point of passion to connect.

When it comes to following Jesus, there are no off-limits. He has access to every aspect of my life and everything I do is i His gaze. It’s good to have that in mind so that I am aware of when something will look to compete with Him for prime place. If ever anything endeavours to keep Him out of anything, then I have to be very wary indeed.

I agree, however, that life in Christ can have a redeeming effect so that points of passion can be connecting points to the gospel. It’s not to look to twist things around so that Jesus is a cheerleader for whatever it is that we really love. It’s to see things we really love in the light of Jesus and make adjustments.

Football was my worship for a fair few years. Then I acknowledged my problems and He allowed me to see things in perspective. I remember clearly in 2005 holding my firstborn daughter in my arms and getting an insight into really love. That was not about football. That was about the life I held in my hands. Later I got to see how God had the same view on me and thus how much I should appreciate Him for having that care for me without me doing anything to deserve it.

So there began to be something a lot more redemptive about enjoying football. Tapping into the passion it arouses, the sense of loyalty the capacity for worship, the demand for the best, the emotional investment in the fortunes of the club, the sense of camaraderie, the united force to see the team hit and sustain the heights and sticks around in the depths of despair. Such a range of great traits invested in something that in the larger scheme of things  is not as important as a life.

It’s a great source of enjoyment to connect with others through it. I love the sport and I love the conversations it can open and then the points of connection that can be made with that and bigger things in life. In fact sometimes when I can’t connect with some who make a claim to know Jesus, I make a connection with Jesus through people who share this passion.

It’s a human preoccupation – full of flaws, frustrations, fears and failings that litter the human condition. It is full of some of the greater aspects of the human experience, it remains a great passion that I enjoy and I thank God I can enjoy it without being consumed  by it. It is something for which I will be forever grateful.

For His Name’s Sake


C. L. J. Dryden


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