The problem of sports

A political writer thinks that sports might be the solution to keep the USA from falling apart. LeBron the savior. More likely, the sports industry is part of the problem, or a manifestation of the American ailment, at least. Sports figures can’t even provide a proper model for children, must less can sports serve as a unifier.

Used to, sports was touted as a means of helping youth learn self-discipline and positive values.That was before the screaming parents, I suppose, ready to abuse coaches and sponsors of teams. In spiritual terms, youth do need self-discipline, now more than ever, but with athletes resorting to doping, that doesn’t seem to work out so well.

Sports was supposed to teach teamwork to children as well. Now, it teaches how to become a star by standing out.

So where does one find an activity or space to teach youth unity, self-discipline, and teamwork? Try that ancient creation called the church of God, the body of Christ. It’s worth skipping a game for.

¶ Some people who have little to do lose count of what day it is, because every day is the same. Others who have (too) much to do also lose count, because they get lost in their tasks. I might have forgotten it’s Wednesday, since I’m traveling, away from home, out of my beloved routine, were it not for my Bullet Journal. Thank that system, or curse it, depending on whether you like this Corollaries segment or not.

The writer with Randy Duke

The writer with Randy Duke

¶ Before leaving the Nashville area week before last, The Missus and I visited the Gospel Advocate bookstore, for the first time. Randy Duke spent an hour of his precious time with us. His wife Jodie put the very first copy of the 2016-2017 Annual Lesson Commentary Companion in our hands. It had just been delivered, early.

We got reacquainted also with store Manager Tim Strickland. Happily, no flying tomatoes this time. (Ask him about that.) It was a pleasure to see this work up close.

¶ For those friends who are keeping up, half of our lost support has been made up so far. (Glass half full.) So July begins with less to work with. God will provide; he always has. We’re thankful for prayers and recommendations, and for a God who cares for his own.

¶ If plans go well, we’ll have stopped or gone through a good number of states, though by no means our record for USA visits: Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Kentucky, and Illinois. Our itinerary is online, in case you want to see about crossing paths.

We needed to be in the USA this time of year, but we didn’t consider that most congregations are doing summer series on Wednesday nights. That has limited our options for reporting and fund-raising. It’s good to sit back and learn, however.

Mathenys and Hensons

Mathenys and Hensons

¶ We were blessed to meet John and Judy Henson this trip, he a coworker in the gospel and a columnist for Forthright Magazine. They moved earlier this year near McMinnville TN, so we had lunch together with them on our way to the Beechgrove TN congregation. John seems to be recovering well from his recent health problem and will soon be back writing for Forthright, perhaps as early as this week.

¶ Rivers run faster, as a rule, near their source. Downstream, their beds widen and the stream slows. Time does the reverse. In the beginning, it passes slowly. The universal question of children is, “Are we there yet?” But it picks up pace and rushes, to our fright, toward its mouth, where it empties into the ocean of eternity. Within sight of this transition, adults ask, “Where did the time go?” Where, indeed.

¶ Doesn’t the world seem a mess? Hasn’t it always been that way? Won’t it always be that way? Into this world we are sent to bring the order and peace of God through the proclamation of the gospel. Just because a country is a democracy doesn’t mean it is more godly. Democracy is a big word for mob rule. (The American Republic, long jettisoned, was meant to avoid that.) Every time a government official or body makes a bad ruling, law, or policy, the church’s response ought to be always the same.

#corollaries, #friends, #sports, #time, #travel