I: Welcome back everyone. We’re here with Jesus in our studio for our continued discussion on topics of the day. He’s agreed to speak candidly with us on a variety of subjects. So, without any other introduction, let’s begin shall well?
J: Sounds good to me. Lovely to be back.
I: Lots of things have changed since back in the day.
J: Yeah, why back in my day, we didn’t have all this stuff that you have today.
I: Do you think the nature of sin has changed much? I mean, are we tripping over the same stuff that we tripped over before.
J: Well, sin hasn’t changed at all, not one bit. In reality sin is just a missed opportunity. I’ll leave it there for now, because I think we have sin scheduled for a later show, right?
I: Yeah, that’s next I believe. Really looking forward to it.
J: But no, sin has not changed just the stuff you trip over. You could say the vocabulary is different, but not much else.
I: Okay, then one of our viewers wrote in with the following question: “Dear Jesus, I think you are the bomb. Yo. I am a high school student and I play football. I have been pressured to use steroids. I told them I wouldn’t do that stuff, but I’m not very big, and everyone else is doing it. What should I do?” Travis from Ft. Worth, TX.
J: Oh, man, dude, that sucks. I really feel for you. I know how Texans love their football. Well, you know my advice is to not do the ‘roids. That’s an easy one. But how do you justify it? “Why?” is the bigger and more important question. Let me pull out the tactic of one of the guys with whom I had/have the most fun, Socrates, and begin with another question. Why do you play football? And since Travis isn’t here, I’ll direct the question to our studio audience. Why do you play football, baseball, or any game?
I: Okay, you there sir, in the back. Stand up and say your name and where you’re from.
Guy: I’m Steve from Orange County. In the words of Vince Lombardi, you play to win. That’s it.
J: Steve, you are right, Vince did say that and you know I always hate to disagree or directly contradict any of my children, but in this case, there’s no way around it. Vince was wrong, and so are you. Sure, winning is fun. When you compete in a sport, winning feels better than losing, sure. I know that. But my question, was, why do you play football? Err, sorry, emphasis should be on the word “play.” Why do you engage in the activity of football.
Steve: Hmm, I’m not sure I understand the question.
J: Not many people do, Steve, not many people do. Let me do my best to communicate what the point of all this is, what the point of all games, competitions, jobs, roles, anything and everything that you could possibly do in your life.
Let me re-ask the question. What is the point of playing baseball? The correct answer is the simplest. “To be the best baseball player I can be.” What is the point of playing football? “To be the best possible football player I can be.”
So, what does that entail. Does that entail taking steroids? Are steroids prescribed by the commissioner of baseball (well, he sorta did, but I’m not gonna go there). They are not part and parcel to the sport of baseball, not part of the public persona, not an acceptable part of being a baseball player. If you take steroids, you must hide it. You can’t owe your home runs to HGH, or whatever. You can’t say, my league leading sacks were a result of the extra pure steroids that I got from my pharmaceutical company. Thank you Jesus, and thank you Pfizer, for making me this year’s home run king. You don’t wear their logos on your uniforms proudly detailing all your drug enhancements. Now, would you all agree that that’s not acceptable?
So, what do we have then? Baseball and football players who are hiding who they are, lying to be better at a sport that they have no interest in truly playing, that they have no true interest in being. They want to be winners or rich or superstars, not baseball or football players. Let’s be clear about that.
It is as stupid a question to ask: What is the point of the game of baseball? and answer “winning” as it is to ask: What is the point of life? and answer it with “dying.” Dying is not the point of life, but it will come to you. Winning or losing is not the point of baseball. But they will come to you. Forget about death. Forget about winning or losing. They are all limiting, irrelevant conclusions to that thing which you do and do with gusto.
What is the point of life? What is the point of being born?
The point, my friends… wait for it, wait for it – is to be fully alive. To be what you were meant to be, and be it, fully and completely and wholly. If you are gifted with the talent and determination to play baseball, be it. Play baseball, be that player that practices his heart out, that runs out the infield grounders every time, to be at second base before that outfield fly is caught, to hustle, and play every out whether it’s the beginning or the end of the game, whether you’re behind or not. The purpose of being a baseball player is to play. If you lose your way and believe that winning, or earning, or spending, or getting, or beating, or any other -ing that isn’t being is the point, then my friend, you’ve lost your way, and you will not find fulfillment in anything you do. It saddens me, for sure, when I see Rafael Palmero losing a few steps and resort to steroids. It saddens me when he forgets he’s a ballplayer I loved to watch. I’m there at every game, by the way. I love baseball, which is why I’m answering Travis’ question with baseball instead of football. Sorry, I’m a baseball fan, and if you have any doubt about it, I have only two things to say. Red Sox. White Sox. My own little brand of humor.
Anyway, I love to see and feel the joy of you doing what you do. I came to see ballplayers playing ball, and it saddens me when I only find winners or losers or Yankees…*chuckle* I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I love the Yankees too, but they need some ballplayers for sure.
You’re all winners to me when you’re doing what you were meant to do.
So steroid use? Yeah, sure there’s nothing inherently wrong with steroids or that stuff, but I have to ask you: Why don’t you love the game of baseball? If you think that you have to cheat on a test to get ahead in school, or because everyone else is doing it, I ask: Why don’t you love learning? If you think that you have to fudge the numbers on your sales report to impress the boss and get a raise, I ask: Why don’t you love your job? If you steal or cheat or lie or any of the multitude of small things you can do to get a leg up on your competition, I ask you: Why don’t you love your life? What have you got against being fully alive?
It’s okay, really, my only true wish for everyone is for them to be truly, madly, stunningly, deeply, passionately, and crazy in love with what they do. Don’t do something for the result you might get out of it. Don’t do something because you want to win. Do that thing because, and only because, you love doing it.
The outcome will take care of itself.
Peace out, my brothers and sisters.