My lovely wife and I attended a high school football game this past Friday night.
Here is what I thought.
Stadiums are planned, contracted, politicized, and built. Turf is grown, mowed, fertilized, or maybe installed, and painted. Goal posts are set. Lights are replaced. Electricity and PA systems are installed. Plumbing and water and sewage is set. Landscaping and trees and flags are readied. Buses pull up--teams dressed in colors and equipment are unloaded. Special shoes and gear and helmets and pads. Bands unload--instruments and music and pit crews and uniforms are all readied. Bus drivers park and sit and wait. Cheerleaders practice their routines. Concession stands are stocked and selling. Parents and fans arrive and begin to take their seats.
All this on opening night-- and not just for the two schools I was watching.
And, weeks before the teams and bands and coaches and parents and families all put in thousands of collective hours and made thousands of different sacrifices and changes in schedules--and not just for the two schools I was watching.
Multiply the above by hundreds and hundreds. Then escalate it into the college and pro ranks....
Then add more money...
All this so--a ball can cross over a goal line?
If only we put as much energy into spending time with our God.
I enjoy the competition and I love the music. I'm not out to stop it.
I was just thinking--what if the approach to our relationship with God even hinted at the hours of preparation, stamina, discipline, and energy?
What would happen if we held band camps and football camps and spring trainings for our souls?
Days of confession and purifying and stretching and praying and receiving Holy Eucharist?
satan wants us to just 'get' by and we fool ourselves thinking that an occasional Our Father and sitting in a pew for an hour is enough.
We put more work into getting that ball across the goal line--for a fleeting moment that really has nothing to do with our salvation.
I ought to conclude at this moment and not even get into the realm of sports in Catholic schools.
Actually there isn't any discussion since Jesus gets cut from the roster every year.
He's the first to go--making way for a brand of elite and entitled sports programs that are 'catholic' in name only--many of them dictating school and parish resources and agendas.
Right--I'm not going to discuss that.
Just Do It.