Here in America we have a lot of things that vie for our attention. These attention grabbers come in many different forms. Some are in material possessions, some are in the realm of recreation and hobbies, some are in the acquiring of various forms of resources, some are in the realm of career and education, and some are even in the form of relationships. This isn’t to say that any of these are bad, but they become bad when we use them as a reason, or should I say an excuse, that pushes God and the things of God out of His rightful place as the center and top priority of our lives. Things that are attention grabbers for one person may have no effect or value for another, but each person does have things that jockey for their attention. It’s bad enough when people heed the things that pull on them, but it’s worse when churches heed those things, or at least cater to people who heed such things.
One of the biggest attention grabbers that pulls on a lot of people happened just last weekend. I’ve seen how this pulls on people for years, and how it has even effected churches when either the leadership is pulled towards it, or when they cater to the people in their churches who are pulled by it. It is something that pulls on people in all walks of life, across all levels of financial and material status, across all levels of educational and career accomplishments, and even across gender lines. There have been some in recent years that have seen the startling parallels between the ancient Roman empire and the United States, both in their beginnings, their duration of existence, and in their fall. No, the United States hasn’t fallen as the ancient Roman empire, but some of the signs of Rome’s demise can be seen even in our culture in this day. One of the parallels between the two civilizations encompasses this big attention grabber I’m alluding to. The Romans had their coliseums and their ‘games’, and we in America have our football and the Super Bowl. In both cultures these things grew to be one of the biggest things they were identified by, things that became something that they could as a nation rally behind.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to football and the Super Bowl. Football is my favorite sport, and I love to watch the Super Bowl, especially when my favorite team is playing in it. That is not the problem. The problem comes when people put a greater importance on these things than they do Christ and the things of God. I can remember way back when I was in junior high how that some would be so focused on the game, especially the Super Bowl, that they would actually bring their radios or mini-tv sets to watch the game during church. They went to church because they knew they were supposed to or were expected to be there, but their heart was not there. Their heart was wherever the game was. Over the years things have changed some. It isn’t just a mans thing anymore, but it is also something that women get absorbed into. Oh, they may not get into the game itself, they may get into the commercials, the food and fellowship, or even into the halftime show which has become less and less family friendly over the years, but nonetheless they are just as much pulled towards it as are the men. In the days of the Roman empire, the women may not have gotten into the blood and violence of the ‘games’, but they were also drawn in some way to them. Also, things have changed in that churches now plan and schedule around the Super Bowl, and in some cases will even cancel services because they either want to watch the Super Bowl themselves or they don’t see the value in it if the numbers in attendance are low because of it.
It’s sad when the Super Bowl or its festivities puts God on the shelf and takes the place of greatest honor on an individual basis, and even in the very churches that proclaim that Christ should be number one in a persons life. Again, I’m not saying that football or the Super Bowl isn’t a good thing, but it is a bad thing when it takes precedence over Christ and His rightful place in our lives.
Even though the Super Bowl may be one of the biggest attention grabbers in our society, there are still countless things that can pull people to remove Christ from His rightful place in our lives, and each of them are potentially and equally destructive in light of eternity. So, the question is asked, is there anything or anyone in your life that is jockeying for the supreme position in your life that is rightfully due God and the Creator of the ends of the universe, the Son of God, Jesus? If so, you need to decide whether or not you want Him in that position, and if so you need to make decisions and choices that ensure He is, and remains, in that position. What will it be for you????
Copyright 2012 – John Johansson