Listen up, sports fans. Before the next game, get a physical and your doctor’s approval. Not to play it—to watch it.
Recent studies show that watching a game can adversely affect your health. The American Journal of Medicine said it bluntly: “Sporting events can acutely increase cardiovascular event and death rates.”
CNN reported that it is not uncommon for ERs to get busy after big games: chest pains, high blood pressure, and even bruises and broken bones.
Yikes. We require players to wear helmets. Maybe we should require spectators to wear defibrillators.
Even for those among us who don’t get into sports, we still get it. Anytime we get excited, our heart rates go up. Interestingly, a Canadian study found that the excitement increases if we’re actually at the game. Perhaps it’s because we get caught up in the collective excitement of a crowd. Their study found those who watched a hockey game on TV had heart rates that increased by an average of 75 percent, but for those at the game, heart rates increased by an average of 110 percent!
Uncertain outcomes can make us anxious, excited, and get our hearts racing. One outcome that should not get an anxious heart racing is how the future turns out. For followers of Christ, we have victory in Christ.—full, complete, final victory.
“If God is for us,who can be against us? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:31,35,37-39).
It doesn’t get any better than that.
I don’t welcome a bad turn of events in our world. I don’t welcome a difficult death. But I don’t fear it either. Whatever we face and whatever we may go through is momentary.
That may sound flippant to some. You’re uncaring about suffering. No, but as a believer, I can’t help but remind myself to look at life from an eternal perspective. In light of eternity—an eternity with Christ free of pain, sorrow, and sin—this life truly is momentary.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).
So enjoy the game—just don’t get stressed over it.
And while you’re at it, enjoy your life—just don’t get stressed over it.
Jesus Christ has got you covered.