Saturday, January 14, 2012
If I were watching football now it would be the Chelsea-Sunderland match I recorded this morning and have yet to watch, not the American version featuring the clash between the hometown team and that guy who likes to pray. But that doesn't mean that I'm not part of the 70% of Americans who have heard of Tim Tebow, but I am not part of the 40% who believe that his success is due to divine intervention. Don't get me wrong, I believe that God is involved. God is involved in all of creation and the divine spark lives in every human being, but come on, don't we all know that the success or failure of athletes is way down on God's list of concerns?
I'm not against the fun of cheering for a team (including the good-natured teasing of the opposition, just ask any of my fellow Midnight Riders about my behavior at New England Revolution matches) and I have no problem making light of religion (just show up at my church some year on the Sunday after Easter and you will see that in practice on Holy Humor Sunday) BUT when I heard about Wiccans in Salem invoking gods to neutralize Tebow in today's game I saw it as wrong on many levels. First of all, there is the whole point about the divine even caring, then there is theological problem of believing that the creation and/or the creator could be cajoled to perform the will of the created. There may be fine points to spin on those topics, but more disturbing to me is the idea that we might invoke our brand of divinity to trump the god of the other.
For me to be fully true to my Christian belief in a God who loves all the world I have to believe that the other expressions of devotion to expressions of that love are genuine attempts to find what I am attempting to find. In other words, I don't need (nor do I want) to believe that others are wrong in order for me to be right. I don't believe that my God ever wants me to wish defeat for another. It is wonderful that Tim Tebow thanks God for his successes. I hope that he also thanks God for the opportunity to do what he loves for a living, win or lose. We all should find that divine spark within us and nurture its growth so that we are filled with such love for all that we can live the abundant life that God offers, win or lose.