One great piece of mischief has been done by the modern restriction of the word temperance to the question of drink. It helps people to forget that you can be just as intemperate about lots of other things. A man who makes his golf or his motor bicycle the center of his life, or a woman who devotes all her thoughts to clothes or bridge or her dog, is being just as intemperate as someone who gets drunk every evening. Of course, it does not show on the outside so easily: bridge-mania or golf-mania do not make you fall down in the middle of the road. But God is not deceived by externals.
C. S. Lewis (1898–1963)
I came across this quote last week as I prepared for a sermon and I made a mental note of it for a possible blog post later. As it turns out it really snapped in with my day today.
I spent the day today at the motocross track with the J and some pals from work. We had a great time.
But at one point I was watching a little kid walk by fully decked out in racing garb.
As he walked by I found myself getting misty as I tallied up the investment that was sauntering by on the person of a seven-year-old child.
$150.00 in boots
$200.00 give or take in jersey and pants
$150.00 in helmet
$100.00 chest protector
And we’ll throw in another $75.00 for some gloves, boot socks and maybe a Fox racing ball cap (with flat bill, turned backwards and a little to the side).
Not to mention the fact that he was racing probably $10k worth of dirt bike.
There was a lot riding around in the dirt today. It didn’t excuse it but it made me sort of understand why some of the parents seemed so disappointed if little Tommy didn’t take the checkered flag.
Some of the people in attendance today have poured so much of their time, money and energy into something that is just a hobby. Don’t get me wrong, I can see the enjoyment that it brings and the way that friends and family can get together but, wouldn’t it be better to let something a little more meaningful be the thing that consumes us?
I had a GREAT time with the J and my boys from work but I guess I just didn’t feel full when it was all said and done. I mean “full” like the way I feel after a day with my family or after hearing a good sermon or after I have spent 4 hours studying and finally figuring out something that I couldn’t understand in the Bible.
The quote from my old buddy Clive just seemed to click with some of the stuff I saw today; a bunch of people who were “sober as a judge” but completely “plowed” over a little motor-bike.
I don’t want to give the impression that I’m a dirty fun hater or that I spent the day pondering the futility of it all like some sort of stoic philosopher. This didn’t come to me until after I got sat down this evening and began to mentally digest my day. I actually spent the day thinking about how much fun it would be to be dressed up like a power ranger and getting big air on all the jumps.
All I’m trying to say is that there is a great big God out there and knowing him is a real and lasting high. And to say “out there” doesn’t even do him justice because he is really near us all and he wants to have a relationship with every one of us if we will just look up from whatever it is that is occupying our time and seek him. And at the end of a day with him, you do indeed feel full.
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the
homes of the wicked.