Don’t you hate it when you write an entry and then it gets erased?

So, last Saturday I watched a little bit of the XFL.

It was absolutely absurd, but surprisingly entertaining. Here’s an example of the absurdity. The players are allowed to put whatever they want on their jerseys. So, some chose to put their last names, like normal. But some players had names like “Chukwagon”, “B. Mack” and “He Hate Me”. I’m not making any of those up. So it’s just weird to watch, when you see a 20 yard reception by “He Hate Me”. Absurd.

They also had announcements during the broadcast made by WWF wrestlers. So like, a spot saying that the NFL better be worried because Stone Cold Steve Austin says so.

The cheerleaders were uncomfortable. It wasn’t so much how they dressed – I mean, scantily clad cheerleaders seems the norm in every sport nowadays. It was more the dances they had to do, and the camera angles. Ugh. Like, the cameras will point up at them, as they dance among fans who are on the verge of groping them. Uncomfortable.

So one of the best things about the broadcast, and also one of the most absurd things, was the omnipresence of cameras. They are literally everywhere. And some of it is kind of cool. Like, there’s this camera that’s remotely operating on some kind of wire above and behind the line of scrimmage. This is actually kind of cool because it gives you the perspective of what the quarterback sees as the play unfolds. I liked this angle a lot.

More absurd are the cameras on the field during play. You can see them, running out to the action after a tackle, these guys in helmets carrying their Steadicams. They’re also in the huddle, which is kind of cool, and just everywhere. But again, it can get kind of absurd, like on this one play where a player got injured, you see the camera run in so it can get a good closeup of the player in agony.

Also absurd – they are allowed to interview the players/coaches whoever at any time. Which is absurd in itself. But more absurdly, these interviews are broadcast on the stadium sound system. It may be shown on the big screen also, but I’m not sure about that. The quarterback’s calls at the line of scrimmage is also broadcast on the PA.

I don’t know, it’s kind of weird, like when a player is interviewed after a play, like what is he supposed to say? I don’t know, it could just infuriate the other team. There was this great moment where this guy is interviewing a player on the sidelines, and the player just ignores his question for a few seconds and then runs back on the field. It was seriously hilarious. It was like

Interviewer: So, how did you manage to break all those tackles?
Player waits a few seconds
Player runs out onto the field

Interviewer: Back to you, Jim.

Another great interview was after a touchdown. The ball had been tipped but the wide receiver caught it anyway. There are no kicks after a touchdown; you need to get in from the 2 yard line or something like that for the extra point. Anyway, on the extra point, the same wide receiver dropped a wide open pass in the end zone. So anyway, the interviewer talks to him and it kind of goes like

Interviewer: Tell us about the touchdown.
Player: Well it was just a matter of concentration. The defensive back made a great play in tipping the ball but I was lucky to just concentrate on the ball and grab it.
Interviewer: That’s great. So I guess the extra point pass was too easy, huh?
Player scowls and doesn’t say a word

And this is all broadcast on the stadium PA system, perhaps shown on the Jumbotron. Absurd, I say.

Seriously, the TV announcers were just idiots. They didn’t know what to say and didn’t talk much, but when they did, it was terrible. Especially Jesse Ventura. Yikes. J.T. the Brick is actually doing the radio play by play for Las Vegas, and I heard his call of said touchdown and it was much better. Give me J.T. the Brick over The Body eight days a week.

But yeah, it had some interesting camera angles, some on the field and in the midst of the action, and that was the entertaining part.

Adrian led Bible study last Friday, and it was really good. We basically looked at every instance of the word “sheep” in the Bible, to see how it’s used so we can understand what God means when He uses the imagery of the “sheep”. And he showed us the Greek/Hebrew words that are translated into the English “sheep”, and the ways in which the word “sheep” is used, and so forth. But the main idea was, by looking in depth how “sheep” is actually used in the Bible, we can gain a greater understanding of what God really means by that. I don’t know – it was interesting, insightful, and intellectually substantial. Easily the most interesting study I’d had in a while. So, good job, Adrian.

I’m becoming more and more Reformed.

I actually don’t even know if I mean that. What I really mean is, I’m becoming more and more convinced that God pretty much does everything. Including initiation, and very little depends on our choosing to do something. Just, that’s a lesson of Experiencing God – God starts things, and we just join Him. It’s never the case that we decide to do something and then ask God to join us. In my opinion, the argument for this is overwhelming in Scripture.

Uh, not to be too holy or anything. But when it rains it pours. I don’t know, I just feel like when God’s trying to teach me something He pounds it over and over again. Maybe because I’m so lazy.

So, last week I read this article for Perspectives that was really good.

SN. The readings for Perspectives are all good, but some of them are incredibly dense. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just mean they are theologically or intellectually meaty. Like, the very first article, I think it was written by John Stott. Dude. I don’t know, there was just so much to it it took me forever to work my way through it. I don’t know, it was a pretty amazing article, I thought. Incredibly heavy.

Anyway, the article that impacted me was one that didn’t directly address missions. It was about prayer, and the guy was saying that we always try to pray more out of guilt or whatever and his belief is that we fundamentally misunderstand prayer. To him, he thinks prayer is a “rebellion against the status quo.” In other words, prayer is a refusal to accept things as they are. It’s saying that the way things are is neither inevitable nor good. It can and should be otherwise.

What he thinks (I think, don’t have it with me) is that we don’t pray or don’t pray in faith because we implicitly resign ourselves to the way things are. That they can’t change. And that’s what makes our prayers and our prayer life weak. Prayer is a refusal to accept the status quo, the way things are, with all the evil and suffering and whatever else that’s happening in the world. It admits that it’s not right and recognizes that it’s not inevitable, it doesn’t have to be that way.

I don’t know, I think he’s on to something, and it made me realize about myself how I’m pretty much the opposite of this. I’m one of the most status-quo accepting people in the world. It’s why I have no ambition and no drive, and is probably why my prayer life sucks. And it really is how I live my life. Like, I wrote before about how one of my life influences has been Stoicism. The problem is, it’s just made me lazy and content with the way everything is. And this, is partly OK, like, Paul says he’s learned to be content in every circumstance. But I’ve clearly carried it too far. Such that, I’m either content or resigned to the way things are, so I don’t try to do anything about that.

I don’t know, Christianity is in large part a bunch of delicate balances. Contentedness is part of the Christian life, but clearly St. Paul didn’t think contentedness meant accepting things the way they are.

So anyway, this article made me realize something fundamental about myself, about why I’m lazy and just accept things as they are. I’ve just carried something too far, and it’s just not right to be so resigned

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