In a meeting with some pastors yesterday the conversation turned to sports being played on Sundays. As I sat and listened, I was amazed at how amped up people got about the issue. Some of the suggestions thrown around were writing the city, demanding “our” members to not participate, and casting vision for a return to the way things use to be (you know, the leave it to beaver days). I finally spoke up and just offered an idea of what would it look like to actually commission those who have kids in these sports clubs to play a role and witness during these times with their kids, other kids, and other parents. I tossed out a couple other ideas all with the focus of what would it look like to leverage what exists rather then put up a fight to make things different. I was voted out of the group – just kidding. I was informed that this cultural approach I’m talking about compromises the truth. I share all of this not with the intent of throwing stones but to give you the back drop of what happened later in the evening.
I had been cleaning out my office and more specifically all of the books in my office when Jenny came across an older book (so old that the publication date is roman numerals) and read the devotional of the day based on Mark 11:19-33. Below is the final statement of the devotional:
“Instead of reading the Bible and filling the churches the people have betaken themselves to sports and pleasures in a day of calamity. The report recently went out that a much larger supply of canned goods was used in the country last year because the housekeepers had spent so much time at the bridge table they had little left for canning fruit in the home.”
It would be easy to cast stones at sports or other activities that “take away” from people attending church but to me this is targeting the wrong thing. Clearly it is the lack of canning that is going that is the cause of our problems. Ok maybe not but I find it interesting that what was targeted yesterday as the source of the problem with the church today was sports on Sunday and that the solution was to return to the time period of how things were when this book was written. Yet already at that time this was targeted as the problem. Which leads to one of two things – wrong problem targeted or wrong solution.