Sometimes I wonder how we will be grouped in heaven. Will there be an eHarmony kind of questionnaire to assign us to the right small group?
St.Peter: Okay…tell me a little bit about your favorite sports teams.
Me: I rooted for the Cleveland Browns, Baylor football and the Texas Rangers.
St.Peter: Whoa. Hey Job! We have one for your group!
Over the years the Ohio State Buckeyes have given me a lot to rejoice over but recently the times have not been as good. Last night I watched my beloved Buckeyes lose a heartbreaking game. I shared the excitement and the agony with fellow Buckeye transplant and dear friend Mark. Neither of us struggled to find our inner child during the game. Our antics were far more entertaining than the game to the lovely Mrs.Burchett. This morning I awakened and tentatively opened one eye. Sure enough, the sun had come up and life appeared to be rocking along.
Earlier in my life journey a loss like that would have sent me into a multiple day funk of bad moods and bad manners. This morning I am not depressed. It would have been fun if Ohio State had won. But this season of my life is shaped by one very big word.
My beloved has battled cancer and currently has the upper hand. That puts a tough loss in perspective. Other friends and family are going through difficult seasons and trials. That puts football in perspective. I have had to say goodbye to both of my parents and to some dear friends in recent years. That puts life in perspective.
So armed with a perspective that I didn't really sign up for I weathered last night okay. I am still proud to be an Ohio State fan. I am proud of Coach Jim Tressel, his integrity and his steadfast faith in Christ. I am proud of the players who worked so hard to get there and played their hearts out. Today they will be criticized by guys who can't jump off the couch without pulling a muscle or run down stairs without oxygen. I know that Coach Tressel will give them the perspective to hold their heads high today.
Long suffering reader Jeff also put a smile on my face with a comment about a recent article I wrote about placebo faith. Our faith should give us some peace and joy as we travel a sometimes difficult path. Some readers would go to C.S.Lewis or Luther or Spurgeon. Jeff chose these words of encouragement from a lesser known source of spiritual wisdom.
However, we (Christians abiding in Christ) should be able to say with Monty Python, "I'm getting better. I feel happy, I feel happy. I think I'll go for a walk now."
And so I shall. Dog friend Hannah is extremely happy that I am donning the walking shoes and I will leave you with these words from James as we go for a walk now.
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. (James 5, NLT)
It is a sign of hard earned perspective that I thinking about singing praises today.