There are moments when absurdity has a face! Monday it was the Auburn fan with the crazy orange wig who was cheering like he had just scored a touchdown. The game had not even started! That night I was enjoying the BCS Championship Game between the Auburn Tigers and the Oregon Ducks. I was pulling for the Ducks! For the record, I have no ties to either team. I'm a Canes fan! But there hasn't been much joy in Miami this year .... I digress!
At half-time it was bedtime. My mornings start early and I figured I could get all the news I needed on the big game just as soon as I awoke. As I walked into the hallway to our room, I thought about my grandson, Asher, sleeping in an adjacent bedroom. Asher was spending the night because his little brother was in the hospital, recovering from the nasty RSV. Our son and his wife were providing around-the-clock care for the little guy, hence Asher bunking at Me-maw and Papa's.
Juxtaposition is the act of placing two things side-by-side for comparison. On Monday night, football players and little boys sat on the same bench in my mind. In 2030, when Asher and Micah reach the age of Cam Newton, the Auburn quarterback and winner of the Heisman trophy, Cam will have long-since retired from any football career. Most will not remember who played the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, fewer will even care. Despite the poor shelf life of most championships, Reuters reports that it "was the most-watched cable broadcast ever." 27.3 million viewers watched on TV, while 78,603 paid big bucks for the truly "live" experience.
So much expended for so little. Still we obsess!
So Monday night as Asher slept, and his little brother fought for breath, the BCS Championship Game came and went like a wave on Micah's heart monitor.
While I am tempted to belittle the big game, to pass it off as a temporary frivolity, that would be a mistake. Athletic competition has its place. For me the key is just that -- to understand its place. Athletics is a metaphor for a far greater struggle. Its greatest prize a poor representation of a far greater award.
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT).
Today, the BCS Championship game is over. The Tiger bested the Duck. The Coaches' Trophy has been awarded. The orange wig is tucked away in the closet. Little Micah is recovering at home. But for the real prize, it is still "game on!"