Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Weighing my Priorities (behind enemy lines)

A couple weekends ago I had the chance to return to a former ministry that I served in NH, they invited me to preach in the morning and present YMI at night. It was so cool to be back with them and sense their excitement for what God is doing in our ministry.

I was there on the weekend when the Red Sox had to win 2 games to make it to the World Series, so needless to say tensions were high! Now those that know me well, know that I'm a die hard Yankees Fan, which is great when you live in NY (AKA The Evil Empire according to Red Sox Fans). But when you're deep in the heart of Red Sox Nation it's like being behind enemy lines...then when you factor in the fact that I'm there to minister God's love to these people you start to weigh your priorities pretty fast.

I did some quick evaluating and realized that at least for that weekend I was actually rooting for the Red Sox to win...I know I can't believe I said that either, but here was my motive...If the Red Sox won on saturday night then the congregation that I was going to be ministering to on sunday would be in a great mood, and more likely to engage whole-heartedly with what I wanted to communicate from God's Word...If they lost, they would be bummed out and would likely take their frustrations out on the closest member of the "Evil Empire" that they could find...ME.

So, there I was deep behind enemy lines rooting for my arch rival to win so I would have a chance at actually ministering to a group of happy, on fire, non-bummed people.

Well, as we all know by now, the Red Sox went on to win that series and swept the World Series, and Bonnie and I had an awesome weekend catching up with old friends (who also happen to belong to Red Sox nation...see it can be done), And I'm glad that I didn't include the final part of my opening line on Sunday morning at the service...

Here's pretty much what I said..."It's great to be back here in Red Sox nation, and even though I'm from the Evil Empire I have to tell you I was rooting for the Sox to win last night (insert Gasp from the audience)...Let me explain, as a minister of the Lord I have to weigh my motives against God's standard which is greater than any personal leanings toward any one particular team. I have a great responsibility to deliver God's word to members of any nation (even Red Sox nation)...but I must admit that task will be much easier to accomplish with a group of very happy people as opposed to a group of whining bummed out fans...Thus I rooted for the Red Sox to win last night...Is everyone happy to be here today?" (Insert cheers & applause)
What I wanted to say next, I didn't (probably wisely)..."Man, it must have been tough for Pastors to preach on Sunday mornings here in Red Sox nation over the last 86 YEARS!" (Time between World Series Championships for the Red Sox equaling many bummed out whining fans sitting in church services)...I'm glad I didn't say that especially now that the Sox have won 2 World Series in 4 years!

1 comment:

  1. [...] The only time I wasn’t all “out there and mouthy” about my team was when I actually lived inside Red Sox nation for several years and kept my little secret to myself (I wrote about that one before if you’re interested, it’s called “Priorities”.) [...]