I love hockey. I love the intensity I saw tonight when the canucks beat the red wings. I love playing floor hockey with the guys from church, we have such fun practices. I love playing against St. Hermans because I know all the guys, and they know me.
The game this year was too much. It was too intense. I saw some guys out there ready to throw down. and it was out of Christian love for their brothers, they saw their brother being unjustly treated and they were going to defend him. I saw it in their eyes, heard it in their voices. The blood they would draw would be justified due to righteous anger.
so then, should we even put ourselves in this situation? should we engage in a competition with people we don't know that well? I don't think it breeds brotherhood among those who don't know each other. I think that this is because pride is an all encompassing tradition, like orthodoxy. except that it is the opposite.

I see competition, in any situation, as inextricably linked to pride. I heard this from Fr. Gregory, but I see it and will defend this position as my own. Pride and competition come from the same place, our desire for identity and security.

If I want to know who I am, and where I stand, I can cast myself alongside another person, as though they are the measuring stick from which I can acquire identity.
A close friend of mine and I did this a lot. He's going to be a monk, and I am going to be a father, so we can't really play the competitive games anymore, and we even came to the point of noticing it and talking about how we were competitive with each other about grades, school, and musical things. It was quite...the process. anyways.
we used to measure ourselves next to each other, because we saw in the other things we valued. That is the beginning of the sin of Pride. why? If I was better, I am finding my identity in a place other than who I am before God. If I am worse, I am finding my identity in a place other than who I am before God. This is the problem with self esteem. We shouldn't be worrying about self-esteem, we should worry about how God esteems us. and because we know (cause the bible tells us so) that he loves us, then we need to act as though it is true.
Then, we need to know that our identity comes from this, that we are not who we are based on our relationship with our friend who is better or worse than us, but we find our identity based on our relationship with God who is perfect, in Jesus Christ, in the church.
somewhere in the bible it says "do not think of yourself more highly or lowly than you ought to" ( I think that's in the bible?)
aka: know thyself.
Pride. Sin. Hockey. Competition.

Competition and Compare sound similar and I bet etymologically are related, though I haven't checked.

Hockey (Pro) makes money off of our obsession with who is the best compared with each other. It is the opposite of humility. Competitive sport is driven by this underlying current. If we truly found our identity in who we are before God, we would find it bizarre that we continually went around spending hours (or entire lives) to be better than the next guy or girl. why not submit, and say that the other person is better, just let them win? so what?

I am half preaching to myself, I get so bitter when I am losing at settlers, its ridiculous.

but honestly, competition, where in the bible does anyone mention the benefit of sporting events!

(don't get me wrong, I still like watching hockey, though I think I shouldn't. its an intellectual quandary, or is it?)


Bethany said...

Jesus probably wouldn't watch hockey; but does He really care if we do?

Gabe said...

you've inspired me. also I'm going to the monastery in November.