Last night I watched the final match of the IPL and wow, what a thriller! However, as the match was reaching a climax in the last over, the TV cameras focused on a phenomenon that comes to the fore more and more in sport: fans praying for a favorable result! That’s now pitting God against God! Can humans get more naïve than that? The question is: can one human twist God’s arm for a favor against another human? Certainly not! It would be like one child asking the mother or father for favor above a sibling. God cannot do that, because God is totally impartial when it comes to the matter of sport.
One also see at some matches that some participants wear a specially marked T-shirt under their club jerseys and when they score that goal or seal the match, the jersey is flipped up and a special message is flashed: For Jesus! Or whoever is that particular person’s perception of God. The question here would be: Does God feel exulted when such blatant advertisement is exercised to woo God to favor one part of Him above another part? I think that both praying to God for special sport favors and advertising God in sport is done out of pure ignorance as to who God is, and as to Him encompassing all the different religions.
It would be another matter if the cry goes up to God to intervene when the one human is cheating against the other, or bullying the other, or walking rough-shod over others, or discriminating against, stealing from, hurting, hating, killing, maiming and etcetera their fellow humans. Then surely it is time for the persecuted to lay bare their plight before the Almighty against the prosecutor. But when it comes to sport, a phrase Napoleon coined comes to its right: “God is on the side of him who has the most guns”. When it comes to real guns in real flesh-and-blood war the phrase certainly have no effect on God, but when the war is sport, and the ‘guns’ are things like fitness, preparation, perseverance, practice, practice and practice all over again, then God simply don’t interfere, but it would certainly seem as if God favors the winner, but then only to those humans who just cannot admit defeat and their opponents being better than themselves.
God is like one Body with many parts. God is ONE, and cannot be dissected. The different religions (and non-religions!) look through their different glasses and mainly see only the section they are part of, but that doesn’t mean the parts they cannot see isn’t there, or the view of their fellow humans is not also a view of God. The one part of God cannot be played off against His other part. People calling themselves atheists but regard science as The Answer are not even aware that Science are also just merely a part of the Body of God. Science certainly don’t have all the correct answers, just like Christianity or Islam or Hinduism, or Buddhism or whatever religion. It is only when you sift carefully and prayerfully through the answers of the different viewpoints that you stand a chance to arrive at what can be regarded as Universal Truth.
May the day come soon when we as humans will allow our divine tunnel-vision to be corrected to become 360°-vision, when we will see people with different views as ourselves as part of one gigantic divine body, not hating and fighting one another, but admitting that God’s light don’t only shine over me and like-minded humans, but He indeed enlighten all of humanity and regard every human being as precious, created in His Image.
In the meantime we must let things run its course in the sporting arenas. Let the best sportsperson win. Help your team in whichever way you can and encourage them to work hard and reap the rewards honestly, but keep God out of the equation. Use sport to become a bridge between the many different believe-systems and a means of turning the world that is oversaturated with hatred to become a beacon of faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.