Growing up a bad Catholic, I was encouraged to give up something for forty or forty six days during Lent. Drinking, gambling and Whoppers were always options, but I chose to give up swearing one year. The former three were just incomprehensible.   I F–ed up the second day regarding the swearing.  I was forgiven on the next day.

One of my best friends is a Lutheran.  Lutherans celebrate Lent and abstinence somewhat different from Catholics.  Other than ashes, I asked him what he is giving up on this year.  He replied, “My Marriage.”  The papers are being filed as I write.  I guess guilt is not an acquired taste for Lutherans.  God Bless them.

Theology of Sports

Alright, I promised myself I wouldn’t write about this subject because it is becoming as boring and intriguing as Charlie Sheen.  Charlie Sheen isn’t winning.  Tim Tebow is.  Who is this God he’s praying to and where can I rotary dial his number?  Other than finding me a wonderful bride, He hasn’t answered a Hell of a lot of my phone calls.  I should learn how to text Him.

You know who is losing?  Me.  I’ve lost more money than I have ever made betting against that guy.  Crud.  Now, I find myself rooting for him, somehow believing in a different God or Jesus I still haven’t met yet.  I don’t even know what his denomination is, but it seems to be working.  Thinking it may be Seventh Day Adventist, I gave up pork one day.  That didn’t work.  I prayed for my wife and I to not have an argument on that day.  We did, and it was about chewing gum with your mouth open.  I gave up on that religion.  I then moved on to the Mormon belief seeking some form of salvation.  So, it seemed appropriate to give up drinking for that day.  Didn’t work.  My wife and I had another argument about UPS Vs. Fed Ex.  These were important discussions.

In my youth, I learned about this crazy religion  known as Catholicism.  This required you to attend church on Sundays.  It also allowed you to drink, fight, swear, and then feel sorry about what you did last week, thus making everything A OK.   It seemed the perfect match for me.

However, believing in this religion, I also questioned it.  I didn’t enjoy singing, so I would ask why I was forced to sing the Lord’s Prayer during the service, rather than reciting it with conviction.  Not receiving a valid answer, I just annoyed fellow parishioners with my God Awful voice.

As a boy loving football, I prayed for three items on Sunday.  And, I’m being serious.  I prayed for those less fortunate, I prayed for my family, and I prayed so desperately for the Priest to keep the sermon short so I could make it home to watch the Seahawks, or the Bears at 10 o’clock that morning, because I HAD to watch every second of those games while my dad was making waffles.  The Seahawks and the Bears made me question my faith.  The waffles were so good, it made me think, “Maybe there is a God”.

Continuing my faith in the Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit, I placed myself in an awkward situation during a baseball game.  I was facing a left handed pitcher in college who threw upwards of nine thousand miles per hour according to my plastic helmet and slow bat speed.  Fearing for my health, and not wishing to embarrass myself in front of girls who dig ballplayers, I stepped out of the batter’s box, and gave myself the sign of the cross.  The umpire said and did something very memorable that day.  He stopped the game and asked me to step out of the batter’s box.  This was unusual, but, since I knew this man, I sort of sensed what was going to come out of his mouth, other than “Strike Three!”  He said, “Did you just make the sign of the cross in the middle of a game”.  I said, “yeah”.  He replied, “God ain’t whatchin this game…..He’s got better things to do”.  I proceeded to strike out, but went on to have a terrific season praying for others, and my head instead of a base hit.

Whatever Tim Tebow is doing seems to be working, and I wish him the best, unless I am betting against him……..and evidently someone from above who is taking a break from disease and catastrophe to watch that remarkable man win games on Sunday, well, I wish him or her the best as well.  Hell, He or She can watch the game with me, as long as they like chicken wings.  I’ll even buy.  It will be my moment of tithing.

Roll Tithing,