Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The World and a Round Ball

I am a new fan to soccer. After all I am from Texas where the only ball that really counts with most Texans is football. Being a soccer fan has been a long and difficult journey for me. It all began with the Unicorns - my daughter's team when she was just a sprite of a young lady. She wanted to play soccer - I wanted her to be interested in basketball or softball or anything but soccer. She really only wanted to play soccer because her little girlfriends were all going to play and the uniform was "really cute", according to her. For a guy who would regularly injure himself because of his passion (and lack of skill) playing his favorite sport, to watch those little girls who knew nothing about soccer and really just enjoyed picking the little wild flowers they found out on the field - it was misery for me. After the game, they would all come running to the sidelines, "Did we win? Did we win?" For heavens sake, they did not even know the score!

After a while, I learned to just laugh and enjoy seeing my daughter run aimlessly around the soccer field, hoping to have an opportunity to kick the ball occasionally. This brand of soccer was all I knew and so it did not leave a positive impression.

But I have recently found the sport very interesting - the world cup has filled my cup! It was especially interesting with the big event taking place in South Africa. My wife was born in East London, South Africa and her family lived in Johannesburg and Durban. The passion and devotion the players and the fans of world cup soccer have is something to behold. The USA team got my attention with their last second win and their battle into overtime in a later game.

The world we live in is huge but it is also getting smaller. Events like the World Cup remind us that we live on a vibrant planet with people from numerous cultures and backgrounds enjoying the same sport and playing it with the same enthusiasm.

I know people who live and work in Europe, Russia, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Panama. A world economy has us connected in ways we never dreamed we would experience.

A round ball that gets kicked around is making our world a more connected place than ever.

I need the reminder that "he's got the whole world, in his hands", not just my little corner of the world.

I am also reminded of this word from the Bible:
"God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) That is God's world view and I long for people to know about his love.

Just thinking, Steve

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