Archive for February, 2012

I wasn’t really thinking about the Super Bowl today. I planned to watch it.  I love competition.  I like football.  It’s right up there with futbol and basketball.  🙂  And the Super Bowl is a cultural event for North America.  But I admit I wasn’t following the stories very closely this year.  The truth is that I like the Rams and the Packers….as well as some individual players and coaches – almost none of whom are on the Giants or Patriots team.  Once they were out, I focused on other things.

Oddly enough, out of nowhere, during communion this morning I started thinking about the Super Bowl.   I dearly love taking communion.  But believe me, distractions come….and it’s been worse than football sometimes!  🙂  Anyway, these thoughts came to me:

  • We love the Super Bowl because it seems bigger than life. And we want to be part of something that transcends the everyday.
  • We want the players to be bigger than life so that we can “encounter” (safe) adversity and “overcome” through them vicariously.
  • We love the storylines.  They help us believe that we too can be  a champion.
  • We love the commercials.  More than the game even, they call out to a place inside of us.  A place that loves beauty and excellence and creativity.  A place that is fearful at times.  A place that longs to be well thought of…and well taken care of…and if we are honest, in control.

Now I’m not hating.  In fact, in a few moments I will be heading to a Super Bowl party….and not as a wet blanket!  But during my communion rabbit trail this morning, I was struck by the contrast between the the annual “story” of the Super Bowl and the timeless story told in the ancient Christ hymn in Phillipians 2:3-11.

The Super Bowl narrative would tell us that we must consume to be happy, to be powerful, to be loved.  The Christ hymn gives us the model of One who emptied himself and became a servant.   The Super Bowl narrative tells of seeking to be #1.  The Christ hymn tells of One who was “in very nature God” but did not grasp at His position.  The Super Bowl narrative tells of happiness that lasts for a day (I think of John Elway staying in the stadium, not wanting to go home, knowing the feeling would never be the same again).  The Christ hymn tells of lasting honor coming through obedience and laying down our lives.

Dr. Autry was preaching this morning.  He said this: “It is almost unAmerican to speak against consumption.  After all, our economy is built on spending.  But….(God) didn’t call us to be consumers, spending our money and our lives pursuing more and more stuff.  He called us to be holy, sanctified by our worship of him, and devoted to his purposes in the world.  His purpose is to bless and heal the world through right relationships with God and one another.  We’re called to be part of that healing.”  Good word, Arden.  Thank you.

How do you do it?  How do you navigate the fun and celebration of the Super Bowl while choosing the narrative of the Christ hymn?   I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Last night our 7th grade guys played a quicker, stronger, taller team with a good half-court press in a tiny crackerbox gym.   A couple of timeouts were not enough to help us adjust and we went into half-time down 25 to 8.  During halftime, we were able to catch our breath, clear our heads, and go into the second half with a new focus.  As a result we were able to adjust on both ends of the court, outscoring our opponents 19 – 12 in the second half.  No happy ending….the bad guys still won 🙂 …but it became a different ball game!  What a difference some time to breath and think and receive instruction meant for our guys.

This week, an old friend has been inviting me to connect in some thoughtful and potentially deep interactions on social media.  My responses have been thoughtful…sort of.  Or at least as much as I can be while on the run.  I would enjoy engaging at a deeper level.  I need a timeout in order to breath, to think, and to respond well.

About ten days ago, I went about an hour away to a lake house for some extended prayer time.  I spent the morning pacing about on the deck overlooking the water and talking/listening to God.  It was wonderful.  It has made a real difference in my week.  Time to breath, to think, to receive and to respond.

Recently, a numberNobel Prize winners were asked to give their advice for the future.  Kara Powell from Fuller Youth Institute references this story from Tony Schwartz’s Harvard Business Reveiw blog here:  Tony quotes one economist:  “Leaders don’t have time for the future because they’re too busy with the present.”  I’ll let you read the blog for yourself.

Time to breathe, time to think, time to receive, time to respond…..who needs a timeout!  Can you…do you…take timouts?  When working with youth…..or with your own children… you teach them to hold the accelerator to the floor or to use the brake and put it in park for awhile?

What are some of your favorite methods of taking a time-out?  How do you model it well for others?