OU’s Loss a Spiritual Marker for Me

Destruction. Annihilation. Obliteration. Ruined.

These are the words that come to mind when I reflect on what happened to my Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday night when they played in the Final Four against the Villanova Wildcats.

The final score was Villanova 95-51. Ouch!

There was nothing “redeeming” about the game at all. With the exception of a few good shots we took in the first half, it was an old-fashioned beat-down. I believe it was not only the worst loss in NCAA Tournament history, but the worst loss for OU basketball in their history. Yuck!

And because I am an avid OU fan, many of my friends sent me “condolences” texts or greeted me at church yesterday with a “hope you’re okay” kind of statement.

OU Final FourDon’t get me wrong: that loss was frustrating. And I appreciated the heart-felt response from those I love. And it was painful to watch much of the game that I did.

But not too long after the game was over, my mind shifted to much more important matters. And I say that not to brag, but to give God the glory for the growth in my heart in this particular area.

You see, there was a time about a decade ago when sports were most certainly an idol. I worshipped football on the weekend, basketball and baseball throughout the week, and golf year round. I ate it up. And when my teams or players under-performed, my mental state of being was disturbed. Watching sports had become my church.

But ten years ago when I realized how idolatrous I had become, I began praying for help. I began asking God to help me kill the idolatry in my heart and replace it with worship.

And today, I love watching sports but it doesn’t consume me like it once did. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t wreck me. Viewing sports is a grace of God, but it is not the end-all to my walk with Him.

And for that, I give God the glory.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Phil 2:10).

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