Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Devotion 1.10.19

I'm confused.  For those of you reading this who aren't from Lubbock or don't follow Tech sports, there was a change at the helm of Tech football that saw the beloved Tech son Kliff fired after several seasons (five was it?).  Anyway, he didn't win when needed, as much as needed (bowl eligibility), or crucial games.  Kirby Hocutt, the athletic director, said Kliff was a great man.  He really gave no tangibles about the reason for termination, but the unstated was obvious.

The record produced apathy which produced stands more than half empty (the optimist view) which produced a lull in.... can we say it?.... dollars.  There's the rub.  Half empty stands mean no season tickets, no revenue at the concession stands, no money for a parking slot or more importantly slots for a tailgate with 1000 of your best friends, and fans leave at half to go watch a game in comfort if that game isn't important if the season is a foregone conclusion or if the game is out of hand.  Worse, they leave if Tech has shown an ability to lose in the final seconds, so who wants to stay to watch the likely outcome?

That hurts, even if basketball and baseball have become dominant forces, because football, like it or not, is king.  So, back to my initial premise, my confusion is over the fuss that Kliff has managed to create after a lackluster career here at Tech.  Off to USC where he will be presumably great at what he was great at - offensive coordinator.  Good, we loved Kliff and want him to succeed.  Wait, hold on, no, apparently he's not going to USC but is being pursued by the NY Jets to become their offensive coordinator.  Well, that's great because the NFL would be a great place for Kliff because he can focus on the players and the offense and not all the red tape of NCAA rules for recruiting or recruiting itself.  No, wait, apparently, yes, it is fact now that Arizona will hire Kliff as a head coach.

Many opinions are out there as to his potential success or lack of in this new role.  We'll leave that, like other topics, to those who are "in the know," but the crucial point for all of us, including the church, is this:  When do we get tempted to do something because we've seen it from afar?  What does that mean?  That means we see Pastor A at a church, see his dynamism, and get tempted to see if he wants to come to our church and be dynamic and all.  We see Program B at a church we visit and come back saying, "We have found the Silver Bullet, and it put Our Lady of Enchantment on the map.  We should do that here!"  We simplify the answer to the symptom as an answer rather than go to the heart of the issue.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing about Matthew 22 (the greatest commandment being love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself), "What we are in ourselves, and what we owe to others, makes us a complete whole."  Charles Ringma, in his daily devotions based on the work of Bonhoeffer, says, "True life has to express itself in a self-assertion that  is a free  response of gratitude to God and which sees the well-being of the other." 

At our heart of what we do has to be our love of one another and our love of others as we love ourselves.  We pray this gospel message permeates our activity as we seek to further God's kingdom on the foundation of the gospel message.

Hope Men's Ministry

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