The September 24th Monday night football game – Packers vs. Seahawks is famous because of the ‘call heard ‘round the world’. As you and the rest of the world know, that was the night the replacement referees stole a victory from the Packers with a botched final play call. Cue the outrage.
ESPN SportsCenter immediately following the game was the most watched in history. The following days were filled with every ESPN anchor, every sports journalist, every Packer fan, even the President of the United States expressing outrage at the horrific call. Twitter recorded more than one million mentions of the play within the first 24 hours after the game. There was genuine anger. Wayne Elliott, the referee who botched the call, received death threats. Outrage quickly morphed into a lynch mob.
Amazingly, a similar situation played out eleven days later when an infield fly rule was invoked by an umpire during the Atlanta Braves – St. Louis Cardinals one game playoff game in Atlanta. Again – outrage!! Angered Braves fans littered the field with bottles and cans in a ‘save our baseball season’ protest.
As I listened to the outrage following the Packers debacle and Braves fiasco, I was reminded by rich Stearns, President of World Vision that I am outraged over the wrong things. I am outraged over a game – yet – I am not outraged over the things that outrage God. In fact, I am all too often apathetic over the things that demand Godly outrage.
I should be outraged that 27 million people are living in slavery. I should be outraged that sexual trafficking targets children as young as 5 years old. I need to feel outrage that two billion people live in extreme poverty. I need to be outraged that 21,000 children under the age of five die per day from preventable causes. That’s more than 7.5 million per year. I should be outraged that roughly 6 million children per year under the age of five die from hunger. That’s one every 5 seconds.
I should be outraged that pastors suffer in silence feeling as if there is no safe place for them to turn. I want to experience more outrage that 80% of pastors do not feel like they were adequately trained to face the challenges which awaited them in the local church.
And yet, I am outraged over a blown call in sports. I am a mess!! May the Lord Jesus help me, and help you, to experience Godly outrage.