In 2010, I took a trip to Haiti to serve with Samaritan’s Purse. They’ve been there since the earthquake.
As part of a safety briefing, the man in charge explained how chasing a football could very easily and quickly give way to a riot. It goes something like this:
School age boys are playing street football. One boy kicks the ball hard. The other boys chase after the ball. Soon other people see the boys chasing after something. Their curiosity peeked, they start running after the boys to see what they’re chasing. Pretty soon more people are running with the crowd. They don’t know what’s going on, but it must be something big. Next comes disorder and fighting as people are pushing through, knocking others out of the way to get to the front of the crowd to see what’s happening. Then a full on riot begins, but nobody really knows why?
And THIS is why you shouldn’t chase footballs.
I don’t know what made me remember this story, but I was thinking how this football chasing is very much like my tendency to get sucked into useless conversations criticizing the people I work with. Or the latest gossip about this celebrity or that celebrity. Or my opinion of the latest newsflash on CNN.
And I wonder, why should anyone care what my opinion is? And who am I to criticize anyone? Who do I think I am?
There is absolutely nothing good that comes from these pursuits.
It’s like I saw the boys chasing the football and couldn’t stop my curiosity from sucking me into the wave of people that would lead to the riot.
So I am choosing to stop chasing the football before the riot destroys me.
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:10-12 ESV)