Sunday, February 26, 2017

Serving Two Masters: A Sports Analogy

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us we cannot serve two masters.  

We must love one and hate the other.

This can be hard to explain or understand in a world that is not so easily seen in black and white.

One analogy that I came across tries to explain this in sporting terms ...

Let's say you live in Chicago.  You have two baseball teams you can root for ... the American League White Sox, or the National League Cubs.  (This analogy works for many cities and sports by the way... in England, for example, you could have Manchester United vs Manchester City in soccer/football).  

Some fans will tell you that you can root for both hometown teams, especially since, in the baseball example, they are from different leagues.  They argue that they can watch both teams compete, and root for them against whoever they are playing.  This would sort of equate to us saying we can serve both our material lives and God equally at the same time.  

On the flip side, some fans will argue you absolutely positively cannot root for both teams.  You must choose one, or the other, and throw all of your passion, loyalty and love behind that one team. 

Let's go back to that first example, though - the fan that says they can root for both teams.  This might be true for most of the season.  But what if the White Sox and Cubs both made it to the World Series and had to play each other?  (Or when Man U and City play each other for the Manchester Cup?)  Wouldn't that fan then have to ultimately choose one?  To love one and thus hate the other?  And what about when the two teams are playing a game at the same time?  How does the fan choose which team to watch?  He/she either chooses one, or splits his/her attention ... and thus does not give their entire self to one or the other.

While this analogy is not perfect, I think it does help explain that when we think we can serve both masters (read: root for both teams), we end up, at best, only giving a piece of ourselves.  

And we all know that God deserves all of us.  Not just a piece!

We need to be more like the fan that knows this is not possible, and chooses one team to serve for with all of his/her self.  

God Bless you.


Victor S E Moubarak said...

Great analogy, Michael.

Did you know that Manchester United is American owned? The team, the players, the grounds, all copyrights as to shirts, books, promotions etc.

God bless you.

Cheryl said...

Wow, what a wonderful thought to express it this way! It really made me think. I surely want my wholehearted loyalties to be with the One who bled and died for me. God help me not to try to hold on to the world with one hand and God with the other. I always leave your blog refreshed in spirit. Thank you for sharing what God places upon your heart. Is there a way I can subscribe to get your posts via email? That seems to be the best way for me to keep up with blogs, so I was just wondering. :) God bless you!