Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The importance of a true perspective

Yes, I will admit that it truly hurt to sit there with my family and watch Notre Dame get throttled by Alabama in the BCS title game.

This was to be the season of destiny, the year that a bunch of FBS also-rans, shocked the world and went 13-0 and won the National Championship.

Somebody forgot to tell Alabama. Now, I will have to say wait until next year for a 25th consecutive time. This season, I got to fulfill a dream of going to the University of Notre Dame and sitting in the house that Rockne built in a magical and almost perfect season.

Yes, my pride is hurt and yes I am disappointed but I will get over it. However, last night my wife informed me that a former classmate of her's lost her daughter to cancer. She will not get over that nearly so easily.

I don't think God minds us rooting for a College football team. I think he is even willing to overlook me dreaming that the players on this team are still the good guys in gold that they once were (even though it should be obvious to us all that they are not).

I do, however, think that the Savior gets a bit miffed when we make sports figures into idols and sporting events services of worship. I do believe Our Savior knows that life is hard and the longing to lose ourselves in our favorite sport, from time to time, is a harmless act of stress relieving entertainment. If it is more than that, it isn't healthy.

Notre Dame's football team got their butts kicked by Alabama's football team last night. As much as I had hoped for a different outcome, it was a football game. Had it gone the other way, it would have provided me the opportunity to engage in some good-natured ribbing and I might have had a bit more of a spring in my step today. When the memories faded, it really would not have amounted to much more than that.

College athletics were designed to teach the values of teamwork, loyalty, perseverance and dedication. With tickets to last night's match-up fetching as much as $3,800 per, even the most ardent Notre Dame or Alabama fan has to question if college football has become too little about tradition and Americana and too much about the love of money- the root of all evil. Don't get me wrong, I love College football and I love Notre Dame but children will go hungry tonight. Knowing this, who could, with clear conscience, put down $3,800 to watch a football game, even one of this magnitude?

Would God smile on such a thing? Would Notre Dame, Our Mother? Many who attend this university, and play on this team, don't even know or care that Notre Dame means Our Lady.

What gold is the dome now made of? Is it the gold of Our Lady's heavenly glory or the gold that the world treasures? Let us not forget that this is the university that honored Obama. That is a stain this university will bear forever.

So, while I sulk over the Fighting Irish's 4 touchdown shellacking, at the hands of the Crimson Tide, I must regain focus and perspective. It is, alas, just a game.

The game of life goes on and I must, to paraphrase John Denver, seek Grace, in every step I take. In the joys, in the sorrows, in the victories and in the defeats. Never should I be so blinded by either the former or the latter, that I cannot see my way to seek God's true path and purpose to my life. Never should I plunge myself so deeply into an activity of entertainment that I cannot pray for someone who is suffering.

I do not know this person who lost a child but I can promise you one thing. Last night's game means nothing to her, one way or the other.

Perspective sure has a way of cooling our jets, doesn't it?

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