Between the Ends: March 15, 2016

No harm, no foul?

A subtle little lie has invaded our spiritual ranks, and I fear that organized sports is to blame. Now, before you land on me with both feet, I enjoy sports myself, and believe that sports and athletic competition can contribute much to our well being. In fact, the Apostle Paul draws heavily upon his knowledge of sports as he describes both the motivation and effort to run the spiritual race and to box, as, He says, “not as one who beats the air.”  Running the race, should be done, he says to win the prize. In his mind, I am quite sure, was the anticipation of our future life with Christ and the goal of leaving a spiritual legacy for the culture to follow. 

No, I’m speaking of the little phrase, I hear all the time, “no harm, no foul.” In the pickup game, it is translated, ” If you can walk away upright, no real damage has occurred.”  Where this goes awry is in our lives. If no noticeable damage is visible currently, my behavior is, in the final analysis, acceptable.  I mean, come on Mark, you may say, what real damage is done in that extramarital affair, or that pornography, or that crude remark?” The real problem here I believe, lies in the “foulness” we have become to our God.

We see not the Author and Finisher of our faith as holy- we see no need to set our sights on the highest of virtues, and we refuse, quietly or otherwise, to pursue the God who bought us, with vigor and an unquenchable holy desire. Maybe that’s why a piece from Wm Law seems to strike the right chord for the NCAA tournament, and the tournament called life, that we all participate in… Law writes,

So that the fault lies not here, that we desire to be good and perfect, but through the weakness of our nature, fall short of it; but it is because we have no piety (Holy desire, My term), enough to intend to beas good as we can, or to please God in all the actions of our life.” 

I rest my case with a axiom that has always served me well.  ” We will always do the things that are most important to us- always! MJC