Monday, July 10, 2006

Living A Legacy

Did you see it? Italy won the World Cup, and everyone except the majority of the USA was watching. That in itself would make an interesting blog (why one country seemingly shows no interest in something that captures the hearts and minds of the rest of the world) but I wanted to blog about an event in the game.

Soccer superstar Zinedine Zidane, playing for France, lost his cool and was red carded (ejected from the game) for head butting an opponent in the chest during overtime. (read full story at Yahoo Sports here) And this is what he's being talked about all around the world this morning and undoubtedly will be remembered for.

Zidane is without question one of the premier players of soccer in the world. For years he has played at a level unequaled by most, garnering thousands of fans and numerous championships. And yet, most of that will be forgotten, overshadowed by his momentary lapse of good judgment, left with a legacy of shame.

What a common human dilemma. History is filled with the memories of great men and women whose claim to fame is public shame. (nice rhyme, huh?) No need to name names but many of them were doing good, even great things before that, but unfortunately none of it gets remembered. That's the world we live in.

This world watches and waits for us to stumble and fall, which has always made me wonder about people who willingly pursue the public spotlight. I guess when "it" happens, it gives all of us opportunity to place ourselves above that unfortunate soul. False righteousness at its finest, and such a contrast between the way God sees us.

Jesus said that "there is only One who is good." (Matthew 19:16) To me, that means we all have the same problem when it comes to lapses of good judgment and are prone to stumble and fall at any time, so why do we make big deals about it when it happens? But unlike the world, God knows this about us all too well, and out of His love for us, He's made provision for us when it happens. It's called grace, and like a loving Father, He reaches out His hand. But instead of pointing a finger of condemnation at us, He offers to help us get up and shows us a better way of living.

In this world we will always have the criticism and condemnation of others to deal with, but remember - the One who made it all loves you just like you are and wants to spend all of eternity with you. That's a legacy I can live with.



At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't even think it's just "the world" who watches and waits for us to fall. It seem that even those of us who love God have some screwed up inner working that, if nothing else, takes some small delight in others failings because it shifts the light off the places where we're screwed up. How cool would it be if we could just be transparent with thorns in our sides so it's no surprise when we fall and need help getting up? And yet am I willing to jump up and say "Here's my sin at its sickest! Love me in all my crap!" Not likely. So where's the middle ground? Is there a middle ground? Maybe that's the problem with our American way of doing things. We want to do it on our terms and we want it to be safe.


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