Putting sports in perspective

As a long-time sports participant, fan, official and sportswriter, I know how hard it is to keep sports in perspective. Casual sports fans may not understand. But if you are passionate about anything in life, you can still identify with the idea of misplaced passions and priorities.

At one time, Mark Cahill must have been passionate about sports, attending Auburn University from 1981-1984 on a four-year basketball scholarship. He was a teammate of Charles Barkley. Cahill was named to the Academic All-SEC team (first team) in 1983 and 1984. He also was honorable mention on the Academic All-American team.

But sports aren’t the most important thing in Cahill’s life today. He found his calling off the court, helping the lost find God.

Cahill is the author of such books as “One Heartbeat Away – Your Journey Into Eternity” and “One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven.”

On his website, Cahill recently wrote an interesting article called “SPORTSBALL.” Everyone can appreciate his thought-provoking observations whether or not they believe in God or share his passion for telling others about Jesus. Cahill wrote:

“Something to ponder …

The United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of importance …

I’ve NEEDED a Doctor.

I’ve NEEDED a Teacher.

I NEED farmers every day.

I have NEEDED an auto mechanic, a plumber, a house painter and a lot of other everyday people.

But I have NEVER, not even once, NEEDED a pro athlete, a media personality or a Hollywood entertainer for ANYTHING!

We live in strange times. We put the strangest of people on pedestals. And strangely, why don’t we have more of society’s teachers; solid preachers; brave firemen and police officers; dispatchers; soldiers; people who work with the homeless, disabled, and elderly; plumbers and electricians who keep our homes functioning; utility workers; engineers; farmers who grow our food; plant workers; those who manufacture and transport our goods; auto mechanics, and the like on pedestals? They are the ones keeping society running.

Why are actors and actresses put on pedestals? They have perfected the art of being someone else. The dictionary has a word that describes this so-called talent, and it begins with the letter “H.”

Athletes who run up and down a field or court and put some sort of ball into some sort of goal to score some sort of point are considered important? These people are celebrities? These are the people who you want your whole weekend to revolve around or want your picture taken with them?

The root for the word ‘celebrity’ is the word celebration. Have we not reached the point of celebrating all of the wrong people at this juncture in history?”

If you ran into Cahill at a sporting event nowadays, you’d find he uses it as an opportunity to talk to people and share with them who Jesus is.

Cahill also is passionate in letting Christians know what they won’t be able to do in heaven.

Here’s an excerpt from Cahill’s book “One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven:”

“I can guarantee that there is one thing you cannot do in Heaven that you can do on earth. You can worship God in Heaven. You can sing songs to God in Heaven. You can learn God’s Word in Heaven. But one thing you cannot do in Heaven is share your faith with a non-believer. Why? Because everyone in Heaven is a believer. Do you realize that when you take your last breath, you will never again be able to talk with a lost person? Since that is true, shouldn’t it be a priority of your life to reach out to all the lost people on earth while you can?”

Cahill once heard a preacher say something he will never forget. “’We are here for two reasons: to make Him well known, and to make Him look good.’ That sums up Christianity, doesn’t it? We are here to tell others about Jesus, to make Him well known around the world, and to make Him look good, we are to walk like Jesus did,” said Cahill.

Do that, and Cahill says, you will have a very satisfying life.

More from Joe Kleinsasser
A tribute to Dad on this Father?s Day
My dad wasn?t a great athlete, but he was an amazing one....
Read More