Monday, January 16, 2012

Invoking God

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Seattle Times)
The National Football League’s Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow invokes God when playing the game. He shows his thanks to God after scoring a touchdown by praying on one knee and gesturing to the sky. He talks about God to sports writers.

Many young players are reported to have found his on-field gestures meaningful and are imitating Mr. Tebow.

A poll of Americans found that, among the 70 percent who were familiar with Mr. Tebow’s beliefs and actions, a little over 40 percent believed that there was divine intervention in the game of football.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, God doesn’t play football.

“First, I’d like to blame the Lord for causing us to lose today,” the football player is saying to the sports reporter in a cartoon in this week’s issue of The New Yorker.

Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s book The Catcher in the Rye sits in his prep school chapel service listening to one of the school’s alumnus talk about how Jesus has led him to be a successful undertaker.

“He started telling us how he was never ashamed, when he was in some kind of trouble or something, to get right down on his knees and pray to God. He told us we should always pray to God - talk to Him and all - whenever we were. He told us we ought to think of Jesus as our buddy and all. He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving in his car. That killed me. I can just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs.”

Point is: God’s busy— and if you’re going to invoke God, make it for a worthwhile reason.

“Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

“This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning  ‘My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!’

‘And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’”

I am celebrating this day honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and reaffirming my commitment to work for justice and peace in this world.

How about you?

--Mike Sato

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