There are times where I really hate how much I love sports. Sometimes results happen that just don’t seem right. All I have to say is “Fail Mary”, and I think you get the point. I can recall one instance where I felt that the end result was not fair at all, and that was in the 2010 World Cup, in a game between Ghana and Uruguay. As a referee, I knew the call and the resulting penalty were administered correctly, but it just didn’t seem fair. In my mind, Ghana had that game stolen from them.
Unfairness reared its head again this weekend at the Kentucky Derby. For what it’s worth, I’ve never been a huge fan of horse racing, but I have been more interested in it ever since our youth group visited Churchill Downs on our mission trip to Louisville. At this year’s Derby, Maximum Security led the entire race and won by a length and a half, only to later be disqualified for cutting off and impeding another horse. It just felt…wrong. He was clearly the best horse in the field, and the infraction was minor at best. It just didn’t seem fair.
This week in our Sunday School class, we heard the story of Zacchaeus. In that story, we see Jesus invite himself over to Zacchaeus’ house for a meal, and there was grumbling amongst the crowd. I’m sure many of them felt that they were more worthy to host Jesus than Zacchaeus was, and that it was unfair to them that Jesus would do such a thing.
I think that when things don’t go the way we want them to, it gives us a chance to check our hearts. The crowd knew that Zacchaeus was a sinner, and yet they grumbled that Jesus would devote his time to him, instead of celebrating the transformation that could come of it. I have yet to forgive the Seahawks for what they did those many years ago, and while it is a small thing to hold a grudge against a sports team, it does give me reason to pause and wonder- would I feel the same way about a person? A friend? A family member?
Life isn’t fair. I think we all know that. How we respond to it can tell a great deal about the attitude of our hearts. Let’s strive to be less like the crowd, and more like Christ.