Giving Up

Many Christians give up something for Lent.  It’s not just a Catholic thing.


Many people give up something for New Year’s resolutions, but those don’t last very long.


In my life, as the cost of living kept going up and my pay did not, I gave up a lot of things.


While at the barbershop, there was a discussion about the recent commotion over the peaceful protests of millionaire football players who are paid to play a game versus the hard-working stiffs, many of them military veterans, who pay for tickets.  Living in the Pittsburgh area, the barber said that 7,000 sets of season tickets were on sale in protest of the protests.  The hard-working stiffs would rather be true to showing respect for our country than to put up with the present nonsense.  The barber said that his authentic jerseys cost too much to burn (although a lot have burned theirs), but he was leaving the television off until the madness was over.  He would simply refuse to watch.


As for me, I am a military veteran.  I am an Eagle Scout.  It seems to be one of the worst offenses on the Patriotism scale to disrespect the flag.  Yet, I served to protect the rights of idiots to be idiots.


I weep for the tremendous decline in respect in the world today, not just the US.  The counter culture of the sixties did a terrible disservice to most of the world when it comes to respect for anything other than self.  People think, “You don’t respect me.  Thus, you get a bloody nose.”  But do they respect authority figures, laws, rules of etiquette, or anything related to civility?  Not hardly.  No one tells them what to do.  Ever.


As this discussion was going on at the barbershop, I was thinking that I used to go to Houston Oiler football games. I didn’t have season tickets, but my wife and I went to at least one game each year in the Astrodome.  That was before the Army.  Since the Army, we went to only one Oilers game, at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta.  My wife worked at the hospital with a surgeon who didn’t want to go to the game.  Who wants to see the Oilers?  He gave her his four tickets.  We got to take the boys.  That was the last NFL game that we’ve seen in person, roughly 33 years ago.  There have been a few baseball games, but even those are too expensive.


We used to go to nice restaurants, but the family style places are even rare now.


We have given up so much, but we have given up precisely nothing.


When you have Jesus, you live for Him each day.  Anything given up will be returned in other ways.  On Sunday afternoon, I have the best seat in the house for football games.  The sofa is so comfortable.  I miss half the game with a nap that was not intentional.  Now try that at the stadium.


Will there be sports in heaven?  I doubt it.  Why do we have sports?  To ramp up our excitement.  In heaven, being with Jesus all day long will have our excitement meter in overload.  We’ll need nothing else.


See.  We gave up nothing.

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