Superbowl Sunday and the heart of mankind

Tomorrow is the superbowl, huh? The morning news is my companion while I’m getting dressed for work in the mornings, so I’ve been keeping up (to a degree) with the controversy over the deflated football. I like sports and all but I don’t know all that much about football so the whole controversy was, needless to say, a bit confusing to me until I asked and someone informed me that each team brings their own footballs to the game. Hm, learn something new every day. Anyway, it became such a big deal so quickly which was fascinating to me, and my initial reaction was probably similar to a lot of people: why is this getting so much attention when horrible things are happening in the world right now?  I found it interesting when Tom Brady remarked, ““Things are going to be fine — this isn’t ISIS. No one’s dying.” Well yes, that is very true. Hm, things to think on. BUT…

Similarly, I was in the gym the other day (I should write a book about all the things that I see and that happen to me at the gym.. gym stories are the best. Once I saw a woman whose leggings were a perfect match to the color of her hair.. her leggings were lime green.) and overheard a woman watching the news while elliptical-ing. She commented, “I don’t know what’s more disturbing to me – the fact that someone would lie about a football or the fact that we care so much about it when so much else is going on in the world.” Hm, more things to think on.

If I had been talking to that lady I would’ve told her that I think it is definitely both (actually knowing me, I probably wouldn’t have offered up my opinion, I would’ve waited for her to ask for it). So much of life is “both” and so much is gray. I’ve been reading Bonhoeffer’s Ethics and he says, “There is no single question put by men to Jesus which Jesus answers with an acceptance of the human either-or that every such question implies.” Maybe we should get rid of our “human either-or” and really examine things and lean into the tension of an issue being both or just being really gray. Back to the point.. 

It’s both. I’m not an expert on football (obviously) or on everything that’s happening in the world. In fact, at 22 I’m not an expert on anything. But I couldn’t help but both agree and disagree with Tom Brady and the lady in the gym. It seems to me that Tom is right – it will be fine, people are not dying over this, and it’s just a football game, there are bigger things in the world to be focusing on.

But I think we should care about the fact that someone would lie about a football or cheat in a game (or cheat on their husband/wife, or steal money from their company, or walk out of a restaurant without paying, or lie in court). Maybe it shouldn’t get as much media attention as it does, but I think we should care because we care about people, and these are the things of humanity. Goodness knows there are a lot of atrocities going on in the world that are unknown to us and that should not be so. So yes, football is less important than other world news because no one is dying and it’s a game, but it’s just as important because it reveals the heart of humanity. The root issue is the same and it’s an important one: the heart of mankind.

Little or big, these are the issues in life that teach us how people tick! Both football and ISIS reveal the heart of humanity and show us just how people work. Selfishness. Pride. Greed. I’m not above them; you’re not above them. Genesis 6:5 says, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (And for that we have a Savior!)

Some things may be small, but nothing is insignificant and no one is insignificant. We’ve got to care about the small things because the small things turn into big things. We’ve got to care about the small things because the small things show us how the big things happen. We’ve got to care about the small things because the heart of mankind is important and valuable and worth trying to understand, and the heart is involved in both the small and large activities of culture and life.

Enjoy the game tomorrow! It’s small, but not insignificant. Happy football-watching!

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