Enjoy it a Little...
October 8, 2020 | Timothy Peace
Lance McAlister, of local sports-talk radio fame, often expresses the joy and gratitude he has for his job by saying that he gets to cover the “toy department of life” by covering Cincinnati sports for a living.
I love that attitude!
The sad thing is, in our collective fractured state of mind these days, even the “toy department of life” has become a dark empty shed. Case-in-point:
1. The Reds had their first winning season, and (brief) post-season appearance, since 2013. Yet, all we can do as fans is to bemoan the quick exit, fret ad nauseam about the guys-left-on-base what-if scenarios, and hyper-focus on what was lost rather than take joy in the accomplishment.
2. The Bengals win the first game of the Joe Burrow era. But, we immediately discredit the victory because the opponent wasn’t fierce enough. The win wasn’t pretty enough, and, hey, the Ravens are next. Apparently, “any given Sunday” isn’t allowed to be uttered in Cincinnati, Ohio.
If we can’t enjoy the toy department anymore, what can we take joy in?
And, hey, I’m part of the problem, I sulked over the Reds losses, and I’ve let the fleeting joy of a Sunday victory make way to the “not good enough” mentality too.
And, sure, if people settle for mediocrity, greatness can never be achieved. But, last I checked, I don’t play for the Reds or the Bengals, so I don’t think enjoying a win on the rare occasion we get one will cause the players to phone it in. As Michael Scott once said, “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.”
So, why am I talking about something frivolous like sports?
Well, one, I needed the escape and I thought’d be fun to write out my opinion on something most won’t care to hear.
But, more importantly, I have a point. The writer of Ecclesiastes once said:
There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:14-15
Life has plenty of challenges and hardship. There are plenty of things about which to be agitated, angry, or sad. But the joys of life, though they are small at times, and often far too fleeting, are little graces that can give us the strength to do what we put our hearts, our minds, and our hands to do.
As followers of Jesus, called to make disciples, called to love others, and called to love one another, all within the context of a sinful and broken world, I think sometimes, many times, in fact, we need the small little wins to pick us up off the mat and carry on and carry out our calling.
Whatever brings you joy, no matter how small or insignificant it can seem, don’t let yourself or others cheapen it. That little moment might help you do something good and big in the confines of a tough situation.
I guess that means those little wins and little joys aren’t so insignificant after all, huh?
If the sun peaked through a little for you today, it’s okay to smile about it. And, if sports are your thing, it’s okay to smile when the new QB gets his first W. In the grand scheme of history, it’s probably meaningless, but if it helps you do something meaningful for God’s kingdom, enjoy it.
Alright Joe Burrow, on to Baltimore… ;-)