“What you doing?” – a question a sports nut needs to consider


[notice] A monthly column by CRAIG DUFFIELD[/notice]

Our daughter is incredibly observant, if I do not remember what anyone was wearing or what colour something was I ask her and she is able to tell me exactly what I wanted to know and often in great detail too. One of the habits she has developed is she always asks, quite melodically, even when it seems fairly obvious,   “What you doing?”

I was getting quite irritated and annoyed from her perpetual harassment. After all I was trying to retreat in my nothing box and to continually find answers for her questions was quite exhausting.

After answering several of her questions I came to the realisation that she was, in fact, asking a very important question.

Answering to a curious little girl about everything we do is one thing, but answering to God about our actions is infinitely more important. Wouldn’t it be helpful to think of God coming alongside us at any time to ask, “What are you doing?” Imagine how often our answers would seem meaningless or empty. 1

“I’m spending the entire evening watching TV.” “I’m eating more food than I should.” “I’m going another day without talking to You.” “I’m arguing with my spouse.” The list could go on—to our embarrassment.

Use of time
We are told to use our time carefully—with God’s glory in sight (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:23). Paul said, “Be very careful, then, how you live” (Ephesians 5:15 NIV). So, it’s a good question. God wants to know: “What you doing?”

“We’re all accountable to God for how we use our time each day; are moments chosen carefully or wasted mindlessly away?” – Sper

We need to be alert and aware of not spending too much time on matters with little or no importance.  Especially in this age where time is such a valuable and we seem to not have enough time to do anything.

Over the last few weeks I have had this growing awareness of the sheer abundance of sports matches, tournaments and events taking place around the world daily.

Within the last week we have had the ICC Twenty 20 World Cup Cricket, English Premier League or your international league of choice. FIFA u/17 women’s world cup, cycling, The Ryder Cup, F1, world rally championship, tennis, several boxing bouts, rugby championship, Currie Cup rugby, rugby league, field hockey, WWE wrestling, NFL, NASCAR… need I go on?

When we are struggling to make sense of life or when one of life’s puzzle pieces seem to be missing or not fitting so well, we sometimes find ourselves, attaching too much importance to otherwise respectable activities.  We can so easily use simple diversions such as watching television or reading or gardening more and more until our lives revolve around them.  We promise others we’ll cut back, but we don’t.

‘Respectable addictions’
Jan Johnson in his article “Respectable Addictions” says: “It’s shocking to realise that these feelings of neediness are similar to the ones a drug addict feels for drugs.  Sure, watching too much television isn’t life-threatening, but the dynamics are similar. At first we simply overuse or misuse respectable activities, but if our neediness becomes great enough we feel overpowered by them.”

Johnson goes on to make a great connection or parallel with the Apostle Paul: “Eventually we understand Paul’s words better than we’d like:  ‘I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out’ (Romans 7:18).”

Can you relate? Have you ever thought this or said this to yourself? I know I certainly have!

When we are running on empty and desperate inside, if we are truly honest with ourselves nearly anything can become a crutch to comfort us.

“Often it takes a crisis or confrontation to wake us up.  Our wake-up calls are usually painful.  The Old Testament prophet, Haggai, became unpopular with the Jews when he pointed out their I-never-have-enough attitudes:  “‘Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but have harvested little.  You eat, but never have enough.  You drink, but never have your fill.  You put on clothes, but are not warm.  You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.'”  (Haggai 1:5-6)” 2

We need to examine our lives openly and honestly. We need to give careful thought to our behaviour. Why? An examined life can reveal surprising sources for our addictions.

Several years ago, I know that for many months, probably far more than I would like to admit watching sport replaced interaction with my family and even with God.

Accountability
How did I overcome it? Certainly not on my own – I needed accountability. James 5:16 encourages us, “Confess your sins to each another, and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” I earnestly believe that when we know we’ve gotten ourselves off track, we don’t need to be told again.  What we need is someone to listen, to accept us and to ask gently, “What are you going to do about this?”

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25

What is accountability?
Dr Richard J Krejcir says: “It is a check and balance system to protect us from harm from ourselves and others. It is the realisation that we are liable, responsible, and answerable for our actions in life to God (Matthew 12:36; Romans 2:16; 14:2; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10), as well as to key Christians in our life (John 13:34 Galatians 6:1-2; Philippians 2:4; Hebrews 10:23-24; James 5:16).

Accountability is essential for every Christian to help reach his or her full potential.

Accountability is nothing new, it was insisted on and practiced by Christ, Himself. Just observe how Jesus led the disciples and how He modelled to the disciples.

Thus, the bottom line of why we need accountability is, we will be tempted; and, unless we have a system to protect ourselves, we will fall to that temptation (Proverbs 6:27; 1 Corinthians 6:18, 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:9-11; 2 Timothy 2:22)! The world is rich in temptations and we cannot fight against them effectively unless we allow the One who overcame the world to infuse us (John 5:4), and not love the world (1 John 2:15)

The key to effective accountability is to allow our pride to yield to the necessity of being accountable to one another.”3

As a sports nut and I really do enjoy sport – all sport. I have had to learn how to best use my time. I have had to be open and honest with myself and those closest to me. What were my real values? Not my perceived values – but my real values – the ones I gave one of life’s most precious commodities to – time. I have had to be accountable as to how I use my time.

How could I tell my wife and children I do not have time for certain things yet somehow find enough time to watch several sports matches through the course of a weekend?

I love my sport – but I love Christ and my family more!

Where Sport and Faith connect Christ is Lord!

How about you? As a sports fan – how are you doing? Is Christ Lord in this area of your life?

I hope these thoughts encourage and help you.

Sources:

1) http://odb.org/2011/07/02/%E2%80%9Cwhatcha-doin%E2%80%99%E2%80%9D/

2) http://www.janjohnson.org/articles-_fitness-_health_-_addiction_-_respectable_addictions.html

3) http://www.churchleadership.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=42506&columnid=4542

 

 

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