Tuesday, November 20, 2007

With a Name Like Huckabee, It's Gotta be Good!

I have no idea who he is politically, but I'm about to find out because anyone who can a) Laugh at himself to this extent b) sit next to Chuck Norris with a straight face and c) run for President with a name like Huckabee deserves a look. He doesn't have my vote, but he sure has my interest piqued.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A doctor, an artist, a teacher

Recently, in a quiet early morning moment with Riley, I decided to get an update on the all important childhood question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" She said, "I don't know, I think a doctor, an artist and a teacher." This was a slight departure from her previous standard answer of a "firefighter, a clown and a mommy." The doctor part was entirely new to me.

When I was about Riley's age, my standard answer to the question was "a bang bang army man." I expressed it this way, in my 6-year old English to delineate from the kind of Army person my parents were. Of course for anyone who knows me now, the idea that I would be a military man is ridiculous and quite humorous as (unlike Tim), I have never in my life fired a gun.

Riley's answer got me thinking, though. Surely at some point in my own childhood, I aspired to be an artist, at least a writer of some sort. I also figured out somewhere along the way that I had gifts and a passion for teaching. The doctor thing was never so much me, particularly given my reaction to the severe bleeding first aid movies shown in middle school health classes. Right now in what I am doing, I'm finding very little of the artist or the teacher. I see it in the future when the center opens and is a living breathing 15-hour a day thing, but right now, it's an idea that keeps me in an office far from the site where it will be built. I guess, given my meeting schedule (meetings are where imagination and creativity go to die), I'm getting a little claustrophobic given the lack of creative outlet it provides and the dirth of teaching opportunities coming my way while I do what I can to get it built.

Perhaps, this is why I'm turning back to blogging, just to have some creative outlet. John tells me he's writing. Phil's always creating something even when he's resting. My dad gets a new column every two weeks. I guess I'm just jonesing for creativity and teaching a bit. See where it takes me.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Home runs, touchdowns and a sovereign God

So a coworker asked me the other day, "what's up with athletes saying that God helped them win or score in a game? Does God really care about sports like that?"

Coming up with an answer took me a bit off guard as I am an unashamed sports fan and in that I have regular conversations about faith with this friend. My best attempt was this--that athletes who are Christians want to thank God for the opportunity to do what they do and they want to be careful that all the glory for what they do goes to God.

We agreed that it's a little odd, a bit like an ad executive or a cashier at the grocery store pounding their chest and pointing heavenward after getting the big account or because you bought over $200 worth of groceries. But what about that? Are there parallels in purely secular jobs in which we can or should give God glory for an accomplishment, personal or of our team (corporate)? It certainly wouldn't look the same as it does when Big Papi hits a home run or Rosevelt Colvin causes a fumble because we don't generally do a dance or emote physically in those cases. We also don't hold press conferences when we achieve things at work, so there's less of a platform for the "I just want to thank God" speech.

I understand what a lot of athletes are saying. It goes something like this, "If I were an accountant, I would want people to know I am a Christian and I want to give God glory." Corey Simon even describes the field as his pulpit, the stadium as his church. I like the fact that he says win or lose, succeed or fail, the man that he is, the Christian that he is matters more than any play on a field.

I guess another question all of this raises for me is that of whether God backs unsuccessful athletes too. JD Drew was a much talked-about offseason acquisition for the Red Sox after he signed a $70 million contract that many thought wasn't commensurate with past performance. He's a professing Christian, but I never heard him declare that God wasn't honoring his efforts. He didn't blame God for his failure to hit the baseball. We would all hope he wouldn't do that, but beyond that, it's not like he was quoted saying, "I guess it's not God's will that I perform well on the field."

It seems contradictory that God only cares about athletes when they score touchdowns, make 3-pointers or hit home runs. Isn't God inhabiting every bit of our lives, personal or professional, successful or failing? I believe in an immanent God who is always there whether the ball bounces our way or not.

Any thoughts you might have would be appreciated.
PS Speaking of athletes of faith, I hope Schilling is right that they can work out a deal to bring him back here.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Grace to rise and follow

"O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland whre I have wandered so long. In Jesus' name. Amen."

--A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God