The Soccer GodsA return trip to Washington netted seats adjacent to several Bible Study camp participants homeward bound to Texas. After a short period of time, it was apparent they followed Psalm 34:1 …. literally. In short, the group loved to … praise the LORD at all times” for they constantly spoke of His praise.

When a flight attendant brought a pillow, “Praise Jesus,” was uttered. “Thank you Lord for this water.” “Thank you Jesus for this view,” another exclaimed. After receiving peanuts, “Thank you Lord for this meal.” (Personally, I’ve never considered a small bag of peanuts a meal.)

After absorbing this atmosphere for an hour, a weird part of me wondered if any would praise Jesus if the aircraft were crashing. “Oh Lord, I praise you for the crash we are about to partake!” That raises another question: why do baseball players praise God after hitting a home run by thrusting their fingers toward the sky, but don’t praise God when they whiff (i.e., strikeout)? How come professional football players will praise Jesus after scoring but don’t praise Jesus when dropping a catch?

Maybe Jesus can only be praised when it’s good?

Those lost in the furor of religion neglect to “… give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.” That bottle of water came from flight attendant’s service. The flight attendant received it because a another airline teammate stocked the plane, who received it from a buyer whose company and employees manufactured and shipped same said bottle of H2O.

Same goes for the peanuts. Neglecting the fact those peanuts would make quite a tasty meal for someone in Africa, should we not also praise the Lord for denying those peanuts to someone in Africa? It’s your bag of peanuts right? I mean God delivered them to you and not to another, right? Praise Jesus!

How about that winning score? Well … someone tossed the ball. A teammate probably blocked. A coach designed the play. Team owners are supported and paid by fans attending the game, etc., etc., etc. Shouldn’t we also praise God for the defender who’ll lose his job? “Hey Mr. defender! Praise Jesus I scored. And I praise God that you looked so bad on national television that you’ll lose your job.”

You get the picture.

The lesson is simple, one can’t praise ‘yang’ without praising ‘yin.’ From a Buddhist perspective, everything is interconnected. Everything affects everything else. Everything that is, ‘is’ because other things ‘are.’ All beings and phenomena are caused to exist by other beings and phenomena.

Thus, while we’re so busy praising God, don’t forget to give credit to the Caesars’ within your life.