Politics and Sports or Sports and Politics?

 Ali and King

Sports and politics and politics and sports. They’re not exactly the same, but they’re not that much different either. So, are you more Super Bowl or Super Tuesday? No matter how you answer, if you are like most Americans, you probably think the two—sports and politics—are unrelated. You might even object to the suggestion of a tie on principle alone.[1] As the now famous photo of Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr. shows, sports and politics can and do get into bed together and produce.

Sports and politics. Yes they’re strange bedfellows, but the similarities are startling. In both, to the victor goes the spoils; in both, it’s a fight to the finish; and in both, you give it all you’ve got and then some, and then, after all that, you usually don’t control your own fate, because you could win when you should lose, or you could lose what you should have won. Sometimes you know you’re going to win, and other times you just know you’re going to lose, and then it turns out just the other way around. Such is the case with the 2014 mid-term elections.

Sports analogies abound in the latest not so surprising 2014 election results. The GOP, Government of the People, a.k.a., the Republican Party, won the majority in the U.S. Senate. It was a warranted win for the Republicans, and deserved loss for the Democrats. I mean, the Dems brought the loss on themselves, and the conservatives were poised to pounce on the deflated, demoralized and disconsolate Democrats.

Sports is like politics and politics is like sports in a very spiritual way. If believers in general, and Christians in particular, would be as fierce and focused, as ardent and aggressive, and as zealous and jealous for God as the average Joe politician is for Office or the even the most average athlete is to win the championship, the Devil wouldn’t stand a chance. And so we fail and we flounder, just like the Dems – at least this time around – or we’re overly optimistic or carelessly confident – like the GOP, and we lose what we should win in the process.

Some victories you can sense long before game time, and other defeats you can see coming a mile away. Such is the case here as the Republicans took advantage of and exploited the Dem’s weaknesses, got out in front, and held on for a close win they desperately wanted. The result was disappointing only to the extent that the Republicans think they have the answer, and the Dems seem to have lost the key to the solution.

Some victories are spirited, and some loses are merited. On the other hand, some wins are simply unjustifiable, and some loses are actually tolerable. Such is the case with GOP takeover of the Senate. They say you learn more from your defeats than from your loses anyway, right?

Sometimes you win by default, and other times you lose but it’s no fault of your own. Such is the case with our Divine victory over the principalities and spiritual powers of wickedness and wanton evil. We did not and do not deserve to win; yet we did and do deserve to lose. And lose we would if it had not been for the Lord on our side. Theologically speaking, it’s called G.R.A.C.E.; God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. It’s God’s unmerited favor. It’s what we get when we come to God; and in return, He comes to us.

[1] http://thesocietypages.org/papers/politics-and-sport/

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