February 8, 2016

Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

I am married. Being married means that sometimes my wife, very graciously, watches football, and sometimes I, maybe less graciously, watch the Hallmark Channel. And so, this weekend she will watch the Superbowl on Sunday while on Saturday night I partook of a made for TV romance, part of a countdown to Valentine’s Day. But it struck me that these were both really about the same thing- getting the big one, the thing that will make life special, fulfilled, exceptional. In football it is winning the Superbowl and becoming part of that elite club that will for the rest of their life mark them as above the myriad of others who tried but didn’t make it. In romance it is settling down with Mr. Right who, after one kind of difficult dilemma or another, is the perfect match from which happiness and contentment follows forever. It is the sports and love equivalent of “gaining the whole world.” However many of us marry poor, ordinary people several steps below Ryan Reynolds’s physical stature, like my wife did, and the closest many of us get to the Superbowl is watching it on TV. But often we just substitute more attainable goals like our next vacation or car or flirting at the office or having a better lawn than the neighbors. The idea seems to be that just for a moment I can be better than someone, anyone. Jesus questioned not just the way the game is played but the very game itself. What makes life worth living? What really satisfies the deepest part of our being not just in fleeting moments but substantially, over the various periods of this life and beyond? Jesus said he would. What’s your “big one?” What are you giving in pursuit of it? What do you think Jesus is offering?

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