In a reflection of where I work, Sunday early mornings and late evenings are my times to sit and relax watching sports. For those not used to the idea of living 8-12 time zones away, it can seem odd to watch the Yankees live over breakfast. I have yet to get used to catching Chelsea at midnight. Racing for dinner is always an option.
This Sunday I prepared dinner for friends as we watched F1. As we compared notes on our favorite teams and individuals, it was hard to ignore how much time and energy went into this. F1 teams invest hundreds of millions to compete each season. Baseball teams are worth more than one billion dollars. It is hard to imagine how much time, energy, and monies go into winning. In some ways it is all for a simple prize – to be first.
Championships are not easy to come by. Individuals risk their lives and long-term health to be the best. I reflect on the recent death of a professional cyclist, realizing that is life is always precious. I think of aspiring motorcycle riders that paid the ultimate price to compete at the highest levels question the destination. Great men and women have given everything to be the best of the best.
You and I are called to live. We can approach it casually, letting life come to us as it will. Alternatively, we can embrace what it means to be a competitor in the game we call life. An old observation reminds us that there are destinations worthy of gods. “All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” (1 Corinthians 9.25)
Many I supported this weekend lost. While disheartening, the stronger/better team won. For most, they will compete again. Life can be cruel. We do not always win. The call to be competitive reminds me that my role is to get ready and act. Divinity will take care of the outcome. We are called to live with everything we have.