Ilove watching World Cup Soccer. With friends around the world in many of the countries represented, my heart rises and falls with every win, loss, and “Holy @#$%* did that just happen?” that comes with the game. So what does it have to do with worship?
Well, worship is for me the most expansive idea in human vocabulary, especially for understanding the ordering of human life – from its divine origins to they mystery of death.
Yeah. It’s a big idea. A very big idea.
in the fervor with which the World Cup games are approached, bye players and fans, is a profound metaphor for the epic lives we are meant to lead. And that is where the metaphor begins.
Life Is Like a Soccer Game
Designed for worship, we play out rhythms of life like a World Cup Soccer game, with the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory running like a through story in our daily lives. There is no person on planet earth who does not, day in and day out, live and breathe the game of worship.
They just don’t know they are doing it.
And if you are on a soccer field, and don’t know what you’re doing… someone is sure to see you wandering and they will tell you what to do. Often, it will benefit them and their system (and possibly their cash-flow).
At other times, an altruistic soul will point you a direction they think you should go. Still other times, one of the wisest voices will suggest we stop, sit on the sidelines, get our bearings, and pursue a fast lesson on life from the Coach of all coaches.
Meeting the Coach Mid-Field, Mid-Game
Many people meet the Coach on the field mid-game, lying on the ground in pain (the real kind, not the World Cup Soccer kind) and writhing with regret.
There, He speaks to them, ministers healing to them, and gives them a taste of what the game has to do with them – and what they have to do with the game.
Playing Our Hearts Out for Worship
When people talk about worship as if it is to be understand and valued in the small way that a World Cup game is to be valued, I have been known to respond with an edge.
Worship that has been shrunk to the size of our music and services is not a game in which I would play my heart out, nor is it a game for which I would die.
But understanding in its widest terms, that week after week a person is living out their Life Worship, and then they meet with God in Gathered Worship to fuel their fight to live, to win, and to show up with others in their life in the World Cup Worship Game?
That I would die for, that I would play my heart out for, that I would say is World Cup Worship – and generations to come will feel its effects through one life committed to play well.
World Cup Worship
As for the World Cup we’re currently in, I don’t afford it the high value that many do – resulting in screaming in the stands, biting opponents, or game outcomes that ruin your whole year.
But I do like it, and the metaphor it provides. Besides, yelling “Holy @#$%* did that just happen?” every now and again is cathartic – and probably keeps me a little more pumped for the next epic match ahead in my own World Cup of Worship.
Question: What metaphors for Life Worship do you see in the World Cup Soccer experience, on the field or off?