Golf crowned its "No Tiger" champions this past weekend. Vijay Singh of Fiji won the FedEx Cup as the most prolific golfer of the year. However, the Tour Championship went to Sergio Garcia. Confused? Me too. It seems like sports can't just look at the person with the most wins and say that their the best even though they have beaten everybody else. They have to have a tournament; some sort of end-of-season spectacular to heighten the excitement of the sports lovers whom they think salivate for such things. Sadly, in some sports the end-of-year contest is almost laughable concerning the teams or individuals that compete in it.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has thirty teams which compete against each other through an eighty-two game season. At the end of the season eight teams from each conference (East and West) play for the championship. That means that sixteen teams from a thirty team association play for the championship. Do the math. That's more than half the teams in the league competing for the championship. Simple logic will tell you that at least one of those teams will have a won/loss percentage for the year under .500. In laymen's terms, that's a losing season. Why cheapen the whole contest for the championship by allowing losers to compete? If you're going to do that just throw it open to the whole league. To me it just doesn't make sense.
The old time Major League Baseball and National Football League used to make sense. In baseball, the best two National League teams played each other for the right to go to the World Series. Same for the American League. In the NFL it was the best team from the Eastern Conference playing the best team from the Western Conference. Now there are so many teams getting in that the "any given day rule" rears its ugly head. That's the axiom that, on any given day, any team can beat any other team. But is that what a post season tournament is all about? A .500 team beating the league's best team? I like watching excellence go head to head. I don't like watching mediocrity getting lucky for one day.
That's why I am a Christian. Heaven is not about whether or not I can get "lucky" or "hot" at the right time. It's all about whether or not I can be faithful for the course. Now we're back to golf. A professional golfer cannot win a tournament if he or she lets their concentration or dedication slip for very long during a tournament. That's four rounds of concentration, eighteen holes a round, one round a day for four days. Watching the Ryder Cup was excellence going head to head. Being a Christian is all about excellence going head to head; but in a different connotation.
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened down, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 With the life that Jesus lived, perfect and sinless, He calls to us to join Him head to head, literally. That is the concept of the yoke. Oxen or horses are yoked head to head going in the same direction for strength and power and endurance. Jesus is saying, "Go head to head, side by side with Me. You'll learn all about me and come to know what true peace and rest is all about." It's all about the excellence of the Christ and the prize of eternity in glory.
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