Good/Funny Post of “Why I Entered Ministry”

Mike Cope, a minister at Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, TX, has a good post likening the difficult position of refereeing to ministry. I’ve reffed a few games here and there and participated in sports all my growing up years (are those over yet?) and am not the least bit surprised we’ve got a referee shortage. People work is hard.

I just read about the referee shortage across the country. Guess what? It’s hard to recruit new refs and to convince experienced ones to remain with low pay and poor sportsmanship. Of those who quit, 76% cite poor sportsmanship of the fans, while 68% point to the poor sportsmanship of coaches and players.

While I was in graduate school in Memphis, I refed a few girls’ basketball games for a Christian academy there. We’re not talking high school ball; the girls were maybe nine or ten years old.

And it was eye-opening. The things “Christian” parents would scream at you! Several times people accused me of wanting the other team to win.

As if I cared. I was a poor, married grad student trying to pick up a few bucks. Was I a great ref? Undoubtedly, no. But you get what you pay for.

I decided right then and there I couldn’t spend my life in a profession where people got upset and questioned your motives. So I entered ministry.

Here’s the original link: “Why I Entered Ministry.”


On Being A Has Been: Bumpers and Bum Ankles

Escort BumperFor someone like me who was once a decent athlete, a nagging injury can be… uh, nagging. Galling. Frustrating to say the least.

So now, after years of consistent problems from torn ligaments suffered in both ankles, I’m quickly getting used to the idea that I am officially a sports ‘has been.’ I have arrived at that place where I am happy to walk away from participation in a sporting event without further injury.

Sure I can still shoot the three, pass the ball, and be in the right place at the right time better than any of the younger whippersnappers, but it’ll never again be the same. I can’t drive, create my own shot, steal the ball, get rebounds, nor play fly-on-honey defense like I once could. If the outfielder is caught sleeping, I can’t hurry up around first to sneak in that extra base. I’m lucky in soccer if I can hold off the defender and get rid of the ball, let alone make a good pass or dribble around anyone like I once could.

My Ford Escort is also a has been. It now has a nice hole in its bumper, half of which is now held on by a white metal hanger, kinda like my ankle braces I have to wear every time I lace up my shoes. My car doesn’t so much drive as much as it limps. Its frailty, though once annoying, has become a sort of scarlet letter whose offense has worn over the years. I’m used to it. Like a Hester Prynne who struggles to regain her dignity, my car and my ankles hobble through life’s distance seeking redemption from the frustration of slow healing.

Though nothing like the weight and suffering of a scarlet letter, I’ve become increasingly content with the inescapable reality of weakness, which is a good thing, I guess. Bum ankles, like car bumpers held up by wire hangers, are step-by-step reminders that we are fragile people often barely holding things together.

Super Bowl Joke

Touchdown JesusSome of you may have heard this one, but it’s a classic. Got it again this week on email…

Tom Brady, surefire Hall of Fame quarterback for the New England Patriots, died after living a full life. When he got to heaven, Jesus was showing him around. They came to a modest little house with a faded Patriots flag in the window. “This house is yours for eternity, Tom,” said Jesus. “This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here.”

Tom felt special, indeed, and walked up to his house. On his way up the porch, he noticed another house just around the corner. It was a 3-story mansion with a blue and white sidewalk, a 50-foot tall flagpole with an enormous Colts logo flag, and in every window, an Indianapolis Colts towel.

Tom looked at Jesus and said “Jesus, I’m not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an all-pro QB, I hold many NFL records, and I even went to the Hall of Fame.”

Jesus said “So what’s your point, Tom?”

“Well, why does Peyton Manning get a better house than me?”

Jesus chuckled, and said “Tom, that’s not Peyton’s house, it’s mine.”

Apparently, in the same vein as Notre Dame’s “Touchdown Jesus,” God’s on Peyton’s side. Go Colts!