Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Football and Idolatry

In the previous post I talked about football and idolatry.

I got my own story.

For weeks I've been anticipating the start of the NFL season. My beloved Bengals are looking to have a pretty good year. Even better, their first game was going to be on TV in central Kansas (a rarity). They were playing the Chiefs.

Remember the old ketchup commercial jingle? "Anticipation." That was me.

Bengals on TV. Bengals on TV. Bengals on TV.

I thought it all week.

Meanwhile, on the church schedule was a baptism service Sunday afternoon. My two daughters and four other people were scheduled to go under at Olander's Pond.

I scheduled the service for 5:30pm because...well...that would be long after the Bengals game was over. I could watch every play of the game and soak in the post-game show on TV and on the NFL "Field Pass," where I subscribe to listen to the Bengal's radio announcers.

On Wednesday before the big game, our family got word that my wife's sister and her son would be coming in from Missouri to visit for the weekend.

My wife asked, "My sister has to leave early Sunday afternoon to go back home. Why don't you schedule the baptism service earlier--like at 2:00pm-- so they can see it?"

I replied, "No. That won't work."

She came back, "Why not?"

"Because the Bengals are on TV," I said. "It's the season opener. I'm watching the game."

It was perfect reasoning.

"Honey," she began. "This is our kids' baptism. Our family needs to see it."

"They can see it," I reminded her. "They can stay in town till 5:30pm and leave afterwards."

"But then they won't get back home till after midnight," charged my wife. "That's not considerate. Make it for 2:00pm."

"No," I said, now getting angry. "I'm watching the game. It's the first game of the year. And on top of that, I can't see the Bengals on TV every week. This is my one chance."

Then my wife--as only wives can do--laid down the hammer: "So that game is more important than your family seeing your children's baptism. Glad to know you got your priorities in the right place."

She walked out of the room.

Darn wife.

Darn Holy Spirit.

I rescheduled the baptism.

It was at 3:00pm.

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