Wednesday, November 16, 2011
No Greater Fear
Is there anything we fear worse than someone hurting our children? Last week the sports world collided with the real world when it was revealed that one of the assistant coaches for the football team at a prominent university had been inappropriately touching children.
I have a friend who a few years back attended a football game at Penn State University. He was fascinated how the community centered around football. The entire town, greatly isolated geographically, shuts down for games. The coach is (was) an icon. Joe Paterno is eighty four and until last week had been coaching for over sixty years at his institution – an institution centered around football. The proverbial tail wagging the dog.
As you may have noticed, sometimes people depart reality and cling to things of less import. We watch movies or listen to sports radio while much of the world struggles to find its next meal. At some point those things can become more significant. It dominates our time and consumes our thoughts. College presidents, corporate CEOs, musicians, athletes, and many others become consumed with pride, warping their worldviews and the rest of us go along for the ride.
Many details are still to come, but I can make a general speculation. At some point, the diversion (football, popularity, pride, money) became more important than humanity. Football players, fans, parents, and kids all became pawns to the alleged goal: winning. Who knows what all was ignored? The coach once hailed as one who “won with honor,” forgot his conviction and now has no honor.
A wise man once told me that we always need to operate from a place of humility. At no time should we believe our own press. We need to find people that will surround us and will lovingly rip off the bandages and expose anything we may be hiding. It goes against our inclinations, but it’s essential. Everything is at stake: our faith, our honor, our kids.
Pray for humility and bandage removers in your life. Pray for the millions of kids and adults suffering from current and past abuse.