Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Basketball and Funeral Homes

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4, NIV 2011).

I was called out early this morning and notified that a patient of mine was dying imminently. This was expected and the patient was on hospice, but I felt I should be there. As I was driving to his home, slightly over the speed limit, I passed one of our local funeral homes and noted their sign, “Go Grizzlies!” Now, I’m a basketball Grizzly fan and I stayed up until midnight Friday watching them win their quarter-final series, but there seems something incongruous about such a sign on a funeral home, especially as I was driving to the home of a beloved patient who would soon be gone forever from this life.

There is so much eternal meaning in life, and so much superficial excitement about the very same life. How can we, as humans with an eternal destiny, put so much energy into games we play? Blaise Pascal in his Penses called these games “diversions,” pursued to help us avoid facing our destiny with death. And yet such games are so much a part of life that they surely must embody something true.

Looking at my own life: my heart belongs to Jesus; I am looking toward an eternal home; I feel compelled by His love to share His Gospel. And, at the same time, I go crazy when my team is playing basketball. Is this simply a war between the natural and the spiritual man within me? I don’t think so. Both the diversions of this life and the focused spirituality in life are part of God’s creation.

It is easy to see the eternal when we look into the face of one who is dying or when we stand atop a peak in the Rockies….I believe that God wants us to see the same eternality when we cheer for our favorite team, play poker with the guys or share Facebook pictures of our kids. I believe that God not only wants us to see the eternal in such moments, but He wants us also to deliberately place the eternal into such moments, deliberately bring God with us as we enjoy them. Each encounter in our lives, however deep or superficial it may seem, is a divine encounter where God is seeking to touch and love. Our task is to see Him there, love Him there and let Him use us to touch and love those who join us there.

Dear God,
Let me carry you with me into all the encounters of my life.

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