It's my contention that there are no atheists in the world. That's because I believe that whatever is most important in your life at any given moment is your god, even if you deny the existence of what the major world religions call God.
But for adherents of the major religions, the choice of a god-for-the-day or a god-of-the-month means that you have chosen idolatry. And, in the end, all sin comes down to idolatry -- putting something else ahead of God.
I raise this point today to invite you to think about what we Kansas Citians are going through this week -- a World Series. No, I'm not saying that paying attention to the improbable Royals, now 1-1 in the World Series, this fall and cheering on the boys in blue is idolatry. I'm just saying that in some cases it might well be exactly that.
You will have to answer that question for yourself. And as a lifelong baseball fan (my Chicago Cubs just finished their 116th year of rebuilding), I will have to answer that question for myself.
Think about the choices you've made about the World Series. Did you decide to invest $1,000 or more for a ticket? Have you maxed out a credit card buying Royals gear -- shirts, hats, mugs and more? Will all that money spent mean you have less to give to your faith community or to help those in need? Did you skip a Wednesday evening gathering at your place of worship so you wouldn't miss the first pitch of last night's game? (And what a great game it was to win.)
On the other hand, did you use the World Series to do something good and helpful for others? That's what happened in the case of 6-year-old Noah Wilson, who has cancer but who, through the generosity of others, got to attend the World Series, along with others.
As I say, I love baseball. And I'm a big Royals fan. (I was even at Game 7 of the 1985 World Series.) I will do my best to watch every minute of this World Series, though I have chosen not to buy tickets to be at The K for the games this year. But I also will try to remember what comes first in my life, what I worship. I hope you'll think about that, too. Go, Royals.
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RANKING POPE FRANCIS
When you think about the spectrum of world leaders at the moment, do you, like New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, put Pope Francis at the good end of the spectrum and Vladimir Putin of Russia at the other end? Seems like a fair assessment -- one that would not have been made were Benedict XVI still pontiff.