Tonight the UNM Men's Basketball team will be playing the BYU Cougars in the "biggest" game in over a decade some are saying. I put the word biggest in quotations because I have been going to games for 20 years and also worked for and with the team as a manager, video coordinator and now as team chaplin for 10 years now and every season there is a "biggest" game of the decade that is built up to crazy heights. The reality is, is that if the Lobos win tonight then next week's game will be even bigger! Now I am not dismissing or belittling the excitement of this year's team or what Coach Steve Alford has done, but what I am saying is that we sometimes take sports too seriously and put too much hope into a game. I was at one of these games that has been remembered as a great one, 10 years ago I was at a UNM vs Utah game where Royce Olney hit a game winning shot over the then 3rd ranked Utes. I can tell you that that game is a fond memory but it did not change my life, I am not better off for having gone and compared with my wedding day or Jordyn's birth, yeah not so "big".
Will I be at the game? Nope. Not because I do not want to go, I do, but because I feel I am privileged to be part of something better, something yes "bigger". Tonight The Well College Gathering is partnering with the Invisible Children to show a video about a kid that has been displaced from his home, and who for much of his life has been afraid of being drafted into the rebel army. To see the story of the Invisible Children click here. These kids are displaced and often dealing with disease and hunger. Even more crucial is that many of these kids have not heard the Gospel. These kids who are sinners and rebels to God have not been told of the message that brings eternal hope and everlasting Joy, the message of God redeeming mankind and saving man from well....God and His Righteous Judgement! The message of God putting on flesh and coming down as the man Jesus, a poor, displaced carpenter whose family was forced to move to Egypt for fear of death from a king who did not want any competition from the so called King of the Jews. A man that understands the story of the displaced, and is not just a man, but is God at the same time! The message that tells of this man's sacrifice of his own life so that Ugandan kids and Lobo Basketball fans can be reconciled through faith in the the work of this displaced carpenter. This message has to get out, this message comes in words and deeds, it comes in the telling of the story, but also in the building of schools and hospitals, the Kingdom of God is to be shown to these kids!
Tonight the Lobos may win, the game may be exciting and loud, it may not. Tomorrow the game may be talked about as "legendary", it may not. I am not sure what will be the talk about Lobo Basketball tomorrow, but I can tell you that outside our little city and state and in Africa there are millions who could care less. Tomorrow there will be thousands of children in Africa that are still without clean water, clean clothes, fighting disease, hoping to eat once this WEEK, and scared that they will never see their homes again and have no hope in the assurance of God's love found in the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
I really believe that what could happen tonight at The Lobo Theater when a bunch of college students come in to see a video will have a longer lasting impact, possible eternal impact on not just Albuquerque, but the world than the outcome of a basketball game.
This post is not to toot my horn and say look I am more holy than the 18000 that will be at the game, I am not, not at all. I just think I have been more and more convicted of what I still often put my time and energy in, on things that I put value on that have no value at all. I do want to go to the game, I am Tivo-ing it and will watch the minute I get home, I do want my cake and to eat it too! But then I look at a picture of my Compassion kid Lutalo and am convicted of my own selfish desires and realize that I need that message of the displaced carpenter named Jesus just as much!!!