I’m fully convinced that everyone wants a cause to embrace. Trump-mania continues to top the polls because people want something to be a part of, especially if they think they will win. At the end of the day, most people want their lives to be connected to something bigger then themselves.
Need proof? Check out the impassioned Seattle Seahawks fan who is passionately pursuing a petition to have Cam Newton banned from his team’s stadium. Why you might ask? Because during a Cam Newton celebration (of which he has become famous, or infamous depending on your angle) after defeating the Seahawks, Cam grabbed a 12th man flag, crumpled it up, and tossed it on to the field. The petition starter wrote, “Cam Newton is one of the most unprofessional, unsportsmanlike individuals [sic] on the face of the planet” and he believed this decisions would “teach him to keep his arrogance in check.”
It always makes me laugh how “classless” the members of the other team are (especially after you lose), and how quickly you forget your own team’s classlessness. Somehow sports has a way of bringing out the best, and worst, in its athletes and fans, and Seattle, and every other team that has voiced a Cam complaint, has its fair share of classless players, too. (As a completely unbiased blog writer, the only NFL team that I believe exudes pure class, all the time, is the Oakland Raiders. Ahem.) (Remember, your Anti-Raider sentiments are mercilessly and unbiasedly filtered on this site!)
At first I thought the petition was a joke (and maybe it started that way) but as I read responses and followup comments, some people were serious about their digital signatures on that petition. Before the petition was closed by its founder, 2,317 people had signed it in less than a week. Many of them mocking it. Many of them backing it. All of them feeling like they needed to weigh-in.
I read a whole series of comments from people who felt compelled to insult the writer of the petition or the entire state of Washington. One guy, claiming to have NW roots but signing his comment as a “life long” Panther’s fan from NC, insulted everyone in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon for their misplaced sports affections. He was going to start a petition to ban that fan from ever entering Century Link Field to cheer for the Hawks. In fact, the “Ban Seattle Seahawks Fans from Entering Century Link Field” petition already has 158 signatures in two days.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Whether it’s a brash political candidate, an overzealous sports figure or a heated debate about vaccinations, people love a cause. (For the record, it was a white dress with gold trim, the Patriots clearly cheated with deflated footballs, I still have no idea what the Fox says and Starbucks hates Christmas.) Every day I come across posts, tweets and images on my social media outlets that feature passionate belief in a cause.
Some of those I can get excited about, some of those I wish would disappear as quickly as they start. I’m sure I’ve posted some things or written some blogs that you have enjoyed, and other posts you wished would disappear. Everyone loves a good cause, and in fact, I think everyone needs a cause.
It shouldn’t surprise us that people need a purpose. Studies show that retirees who disengage from an active lifestyle the day the quit work, die 37% sooner than those retirees who stay motivated, engaged and active. In fact, those who retire at 55 are 89% more likely to die in the first ten years of retirement, then those who retire at 65! We were designed to have purpose.
In Hebrews 12:1-2, the writer of the book states, “...let us run the raced marked out for us...” Did you catch that? We each have a race marked out for us by God! God has created us, knit us together precisely how He wanted to (Psalm 139) so that we are best-equipped for the race He marked out for us. Living life without purpose is contrary to the very nature of our creation.
The problem is, all of us are capable of getting caught up with the wrong cause, so deeply, that we pour our energies, resources and commitment into things that have the importance of an online petition to ban a sports celebrity. No, I’m not saying it’s wrong to have some casual and fun causes to invest in (all you Star Wars geeks can take a breath now) or to enjoy. What I am saying, is that we were made for cause, and when we pour ourselves into the wrong cause, we waste the most valuable gift we have -- life!
A few years back I remember the hard decision I made to cut satellite TV at our house. My wife was surprised. Heck, I was surprised that those words came out of my mouth, but I started to realize that I was pouring way to much of my passions into sports: news, information, games, debate, replays, documentaries etc... I knew I had been made for a purpose, and I knew, for me, that purpose wasn’t ultimately satisfied watching others play or talk about sports on TV.
Where are you investing your life? Your passions? You love? Your money? Your energy? Are you working hard to run the race that God has marked out for you, the race for which He has made you? Everyone needs a cause, in fact, I believe, everyone is living for a cause. What cause are you living for?
Go ahead and take the plunge, you cause is better on the water!