Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fantasy or Authentic?

With the completion of the first week of NFL games, the Fantasy Football Effect is in full swing. Based on the performance in one game fantasy owners are furiously dropping and adding players. (You did stay up until midnight to get first dibs on that high scoring free agent running back, right?) We know that the season can be made or ruined by successfully finding the elusive sleeper that you drafted while everyone else slept, literally.

This was a big fantasy week for tight ends with 10 scoring touchdowns. But I'm much more concerned about my running backs. In my two leagues only one of my starting or backup RB's scored in double figures. And this is the position that the "experts" suggest should be drafted first! I could be in for a long season if I can't find some points here. But it's only Week 1.... there's a long way to go.

Although fantasy football can be a lot of fun, we all make decisions about players based on very limited information. Everyone that drafted Toby Gerhart expecting him to share carries with a recuperating Adrian Peterson is now re-thinking that idea. Peterson had 17 carries and 2 touchdowns. Not bad for a wonky knee. But the team knew all along how healthy he really was. It's just the fantasy owners who are left in the dark.

It seems to me that church is often a "fantasy land" where people put on big smiles and wander around trying to convince potential fantasy owners that they've got a great season ahead of them. All their injury issues are behind them. Their faith holdout isn't an issue any more. They're a team player. They don't go out on the town after midnight. BUT, no one really gets to peak behind the curtain to see what's really going on.

Is this person reliable? Does "fine" mean, "I had a huge fight with my wife on Friday, but we're both pretending it didn't happen. The couch is fairly comfortable." Will that weakness that interrupted last year be a problem when it's tested again this year? (Of course, we don't get to look at the MRI and know whether or not the injury really healed.) Is your heart in the work ahead? Are you playing for self or the kingdom?

God designed the church to work together. To strengthen each others' weaknesses. On my other blog, I've just written how the Spiritual Gifts God gives individual are not intended for personal glory, but to be used in serving others. Consider a basic Godly value like "honesty". How honest are you on a Sunday morning? Are you more honest with other Christians during the week? God expects his people to demonstrate authenticity, not only towards Him, but toward each other.

The book of Psalms contains many songs that drip with raw emotion. Whether joy, anguish, anger, or uncertainty you'll find it in Psalms. Perhaps that's why this book is the most read of all the Old Testament books. God wants us to be honest. It's who He is. God is the ultimate reality. Let's not turn his church into a "Fantasy Kingdom" awarding points for fake smiles.

Who's your fantasy football sleeper this year?  Did you get him, or are you watching him inspire a winning season for someone else?

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