Get A Life!

(John 10:10) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

The basketball teams from two small-town high schools met for a ball game this past week.

The game was called at the end of the third quarter because of a brawl in the stands that sent four law-enforcement officers to the hospital and at least three “fans” to jail.

What on earth happened? Apparently some of the home-town fans were taunting their guests about their team’s poor performance. A few of the visiting supporters, outraged at the taunts and feeling that poor officiating had led to the lopsided score, began tossing trash onto the floor. When these irritated fans were “invited” to leave, they reacted violently. A full-scale, gym-clearing brawl ensued.

As I watched the televised reports of this disgraceful scene, I wanted to shout at those involved: “People! This is a game being played by a bunch of 15 year old boys. It doesn’t matter! Get a life!”

Then it dawned on me. This was their life! These people live and die with the success or failure of their High School heroes. Their identity and sense of self-worth is bound up in the exploits of their home-town team.

Every person needs to have a reason to live. Without that purpose, life becomes a meaningless repetition of ultimately worthless activities. But with a purpose to live, life takes on meaning. There is a reason to get up in the morning; there are goals to achieve; there is a future to anticipate.

So people seek to “get a life”. They search for meaning in their favorite ball teams, their jobs, their families, their hobbies, and their special causes.

These are not bad or evil places to seek a life; they are just not the best places to seek life. It is in Jesus that people will find “life to the full” (John 10:10). In Jesus, and our devotion to Him, we are assured that we are devoting our lives to that which is of eternal significance. In that assurance there is purpose, identity, meaning, and self-worth.

“Get a life” is not what I should be shouting at people. Rather, my cry should be, “Get a better life!”