I was rolling down Interstate 405 the other day when I came upon a crappy sedan plodding along the highway at about 50 miles per hour. Forced to spend a miserable ten seconds or so behind the Casey Kotchman of automobiles, I noticed that this slow-moving bastard had an Obama sticker on his bumper.
Now, I’ll be honest, I like Obama. He seems like a cool guy. I’m not really big on politics, but I can tell that he’d be a good dude to hoop and drink with. That sort of thing goes a long way in my book. He’s a guy’s guy, basically. And being a guy’s guy myself, I appreciate that.
At this precise moment, however, I was experiencing frustration. Frustration brought on by the operator of this clunker compact car. Frustration instigated by someone who happened to be advertising the current President of the United States of America.
That got me thinking about what Barack would do if he knew that this testament to vehicular failure was going around promoting him in such a way. As the leader of the free world, he should really have some sort of say in who peddles his name around town. Because if it was my name, I wouldn’t want it on the rear of this sloth-like scrap heap. And you know me. I’m an attention whore. If I’m drawing the line, I imagine everyone else would be, as well.
It’s tough when you’re a politician being represented by less-than-desirable constituents. But what do you do if you’re God?
When was the last time anyone asked God how He felt about having His name associated with malcontents and ne’er-do-wells? Or worse yet, professional athletes who suck.
God doesn’t judge like that, you say. But alas, if God was a sports fan, you know He’d be able to decipher good from bad. He’s God. He knows everything. Don’t insult God with your assumptions about His fanaticism. Show some respect.
Take, for instance, Aaron Curry and Justin Forsett. Teammates with the Seahawks, both men not only devote themselves fully to the Lord, but spend much of their time promoting His word through their Twitter accounts. Only problem is, neither Curry nor Forsett is exceptionally good at his job. Curry, for one, is an especially polarizing figure for local sports fans. You think God might want to weigh in on this mess?
“Hey, guys. I know you like Me and all, but can you cool it until you get a little, ya know, better? Thanks. Amen.” I think He knows what He’s doing, folks. This is God we’re talking about.
And it’s not just professional futility that should have God questioning the legion of ballplayers who perpetuate His goodness.
For years, pro athletes have been hiding behind God when things didn’t go their way. Rather than acknowledge their shortcomings, respond to interview questions, or admit they’ve done wrong, they’ve used God as a shield, deflecting all criticism by way of our Lord and Savior. It’s kind of unfair, when you think about it. Why should God have to take the bullets for your missed layup, a dropped pop fly, or that late-night arrest for soliciting a prostitute? God didn’t do those things. You did. Own up to it.
Like LeBron James, for example.
Shortly after his Miami Heat lost the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks, James had the wherewithal to pin the team’s loss on none other than God, Himself.
“The Greater Man upstairs knows when it’s my time,” James said. “Right now isn’t the time.” Of course not. How could we all be so naive?
In this era of social media, we’ve come to see athletes for more than just the players they are between the lines. We know what these guys are like out of uniform, we learn about their likes and dislikes, and we gain an understanding of their character (or lack thereof). It seems that for many athletes, character goes hand in hand with faith. And likewise, faith trumps all missteps.
To many athletes, committing infraction after infraction, failing at life, or just generally being a douchebag is nullified by a few quotes from the good book and a trip to Mass every now and again. Never mind the fact that Curry is notorious for penalty-inducing plays, or that James is a heat-seeking (no pun intended) missile for public controversy, or that none of us laypeople could ever get away with shirking responsibility simply by pointing to the sky. They’re immune to criticism, these athletes, because they’ve elevated themselves above the rest of us. Clearly.
It’s a divine life full of divine rights for those athletes who make the most out of the Big Guy’s name.
And it’s about time we had a divine intervention.