Why Sports Really Don't Matter

The night I watched Aaron Boone hit a walk-off homerun off of Tim Wakefield to end the ALCS and send my beloved Boston Redsox home was a crossroads for me.  I remember feeling the crushing blow.  I didn't want to eat or smile.  My joy had been sucked completely out of me.

That's how much emotional stock I had placed into my favorite sports team.  My happiness was dependent upon my teams playing well.  In a weird ET-like way, it was like my disposition was symbiotic with the outcome of my favorite team.  And I think many people know exactly what I am talking about.

Like I said, after that baseball game in 2003, I hit a crossroads.  Fortunately, God led me down a different path that took the symbiotic relationship I had with my favorite teams and freed me from it.   In other words, sports had become an idol in my life and I repented of it and confessed that before God.  Not long after the game, my fandom changed.  

I didn't watch sports for a few months, because at first I felt like I needed a clean break.  However, I gravitated back, because it is something I genuinely enjoy.  I've always enjoyed athletics, playing sports and watching people compete.  However, after I confessed my sin and temptation to God, I started watching sports in a much different way.  I also truly understood the wisdom that "win or lose", my life would still go on the same.  My teams' success or failure doesn't have to have the power to make me happy or depressed.  Honestly, I put things into perspective and realized that when it comes to eternity--the outcome of sporting events really doesn't matter.

Now, I still watch sports, have my teams, and enjoy the competition, but it feels much different.  Its much different because its not my life or livelihood.  And I'm not saying that it is God's rewarding me, but since I made the switch, the Redsox have won 3 World Series, Celtics an NBA title, the Bruins a Stanley Cup, the Gators a couple of National Titles, and the Patriots are going for their 6th Super Bowl win tonight in the last 17 years.  

My teams have been abnormally great.  For me, I think God has used it as a way to teach me how to handle winning.  Also, it has been a great reminder that my life isn't different because of the success of my team.  So I've seen great failure and now great success.  However, watching sports still hasn't changed my purpose or life's call.

Sure, sports can be a great vehicle in which to teach people great life skills such as hard work, leadership, and unity.  It can also be a great platform in which to be a shining light, carrying the gospel.  However, fandom doesn't have to wreck you.  Don't listen to those that say otherwise.  They're misguided.  Let fandom be fun, but at the end of the day, let God be what defines you and the One who fills you with contentment.

With that said--Go Pats!

Check out Jeff Tilden's brand new book, The Chaser