Last night, after weeks of waiting, my wife, Angie, and I sat in front of our oversized television to enjoy, yell, pace, and endure the excruciating pain of cheering our Georgia Bulldogs to victory. Actually, that’s not correct; we have waited more than a few weeks. The last time Georgia won a National Championship, Jimmy Carter was in office and home mortgage rates were 13%.
Wearing our favorite Bulldog clothing, (which seems pretty weird for two people to do in the privacy of their own home) we buckled up for what I expected to be yet another high- paced emotional roller coaster ride. In the south, college football is a denomination that you are glad you are a part of but at the same time you wish you could find something more enjoyable to do with far less stress. I wish I was really passionate about woodworking or something.
Anyone being honest would agree that the Georgia/Oklahoma game in the Rose Bowl last night was a “game for the ages”. The three-hour plus experience evolved into a multiple momentum shifting, double-overtime shootout that left Bulldogs and Sooners drained and depleted. It was likely one of the greatest collegiate contests of all time.
That particular game was a quintessential example of what it means to temporarily entrust your emotional well-being to 19-year-olds that you have never met. It was the kind of game you find yourself starting to pray over before you realize how ridiculous that really is. It was quite enjoyable but quite unenjoyable at the same time.
I have evaluated my personal investment in college football. Maybe you share similar conclusions regarding a healthy need for diversions in life. I have a pretty serious job, like many others. I talk and pray with people with drama and people in great trauma. I sit with people after their loved ones commit suicide. I share the gospel with people destined for eternal darkness and I try to encourage those who minister in the trenches to abortion-minded women. I, like others, wade through the turbulent waters of divorce and adultery with those looking for relief from the trials within the human dilemma. Maybe you have your brand of stress. As 2018 gets going I encourage you to embrace healthy, balanced diversions.
- Carve out a place in your life for something as silly as getting worked up over a football game. Try to involve others so your diversion doesn’t create too much separation.
- Create a future diversion. Always try to have something to look forward to. A vacation, a spa day, something in the near future that is enjoyable. Reward yourself!
- Can silence be an occasional diversion for you? Silence is an endangered luxury. I dare you to embrace silence as often as you can. It’s extremely potent-a little bit goes a long, long way.
- When you go to church, are you in a sanctuary or are you taking sanctuary? There is a difference. Make sure you are getting fed.
May 2018 be a year of healthy diversions for you and yours. Go dawgs!
Pastor Gary Hewins
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