Monday, June 21, 2010
The World Cup - Boge
Every four years the greatest sporting event on planet earth produces the world’s next soccer champion. While there are 7 billion people on the planet, it is estimated that there will be a combined total of 30 billion person-game views of the matches.
So what draws us to soccer? Even for those who aren’t fans of the game, there’s something we can learn from the power of this game.
First, it’s accessible. This is largely because it’s cheap. Hockey is not as accessible. You need skates, sticks, equipment and then, of course, snow. But soccer is available everywhere on the planet. A field, a ball and some friends. I’ve played soccer with westerners in Canada and with former streetchildren at Mully Children’s Family home for rescued children in Kenya. It really is the world’s game.
Second, it’s simple. Kick a ball through two posts, don’t use your hands, don’t go offside and don’t hurt the other player. Everyone understands the game. Compare that to the complicated rules of other sports.
Third, it’s full of surprises – like life. A game can turn on a dime. Rarely is a team considered out of the match. The best teams don’t always win and in an instant a game can dramatically change.
It reminds me of the Gospel.
It’s accessible. The Gospel is available nearly everywhere in the world. Ironically, while many in the West have diligently sent missionaries to Africa, Asia and South America and done extremely well, we are now finding ourselves in the position of recognizing that our Western countries are in dire need of the Gospel message.
It’s simple. God sends Son to earth to save mankind from sin. The Gospel is easy to understand by all people. The brilliant are challenged by it. The poor are encouraged by it. The Gospel transcends education, wealth, class, race, gender. Anyone, anywhere can learn it. We would do well to remember that even the basic tenets of the Gospel – God loves you, Jesus died to give you eternal life, your past can be forgiven, - these simple truths that we have heard a million times are revolutionary to those who have never pondered them.
It’s full of surprises. For those who really want to follow Christ and abandon their own sense of controlling their lives, the Gospel will take them on an adventure that will challenge and encourage them in every area of their life.
So the next time you’re watching soccer (or what the rest of the world calls football) remember that even how a simple game can engage the whole world, so the Gospel can inspire all those who hear it.
Paul H. Boge is the author of The Urban Saint: The Harry Lehotsky Story
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