Friday, November 09, 2007

Tailgate-ing Through Life

Sporting events, especially football, are intoxicating for the young men who go on the field every week in front of thousands of people. To play for a nationally known college football team is the dream of many. Stadiums are packed inside, thousands tailgate outside, radios and televisions are tuned in so that literally millions hang on the next down. Fans, even Christians, make many sacrifices to be a part of these weekly events. Hundreds of dollars are spent, and hundreds of hours are invested to “support” the favorite team.

If the lights could be dimmed for a moment, and in that moment, God could give us perspective, what might we see?

Modern American sports has only been in existence about 1% of the time of world history. Only about 5% of the world population even knows the rules of football (or even cares). It is electrifying to be in a stadium 100,000 people cheering, but…. What will we say on Judgment Day when we tailgated through life watching a football stadium fill up every three days with children dying from hunger related diseases? As the privileged ones who know the truth, have a Bible (many Bibles), have a church, what will we say to the ones who didn’t? A football stadium a day fills up with the dead who died not hearing about Christ. What will we say to the more than 1.5 billion on that day who had no messenger? How will it sound to them when we try to explain the rules and importance of carrying a leather ball over a goal line and that we spent more money and time on that than on them?

In Germany during the Holocaust when Hitler was on a mission to wipe out the Jews, they would transport them on train cars going to the concentration camps. As the trains would pass through the towns, the Jews packed in the cattle cars would cry out in hope that people would come to their aid. One church, located close to the tracks, was disturbed each Sunday morning by the sounds of these people wailing. So finally the church calculated the exact time that the train passed. They began to schedule a hymn for the congregation to sing right when the train would go by in order to drown out the sounds of the people.

We too, as Americans, have been successful in isolating and insulating ourselves in this life from the wails of those dying without Christ. But on that day when the cries of enough people to fill up 15,000 football stadiums are heard, what will be our excuse?

Let us not be found tailgateing through life.

No comments: