Why Being A Christian Is A Lot Like Olympic Curling

1. No one can agree on what the rules are.

I swear, we’ve probably watched eight rounds of curling during the Olympics and I still have no idea what the rules actually are. Are they trying to get all of their pucks (is that thing a puck?) on the bulls-eye? Are they trying to just land one in the middle? I have no idea, and at the end of every match I’m honestly confused at why the team who won, actually won. No one in my family agrees on the rules either because the whole game is just straight up confusing even though it *looks* simple. Now, I could solve this problem by looking up the rules to the game online, but I’ve never been one to take the easy way to do anything.

Christianity is a lot like this. No one completely understands how the game is supposed to be played. Everyone on the team has their own idea as to what the focus should be, and which rules are important.  Folks watching from the outside? They’re just as confused as we are even if they don’t always realize it.

Sadly, we often settle for arguing about the rules while sitting in the bleachers rather than learning by taking a chance and just getting out on the ice.

Those of us on the ice? We’re all just trying to figure it out as we play, even when we talk a big game about strategy.

2. The landscape is constantly shifting.

Ever get up to go the bathroom during a curling match? Trust me– when you come back to the living room, the game will look completely different. The balls (are they balls?) are constantly smashing into each other and knocking each other off  the course (is that a course?). One minute it is a field of red and the next, it’s a field of yellow– and if you’re not paying attention, you won’t understand what just happened.

In Christianity the dialogue is always shifting- one day we’re all talking about gender equality and the next thing you know, everyone is talking talking about evolution. It happens, sometimes quickly, and I get that it can be confusing. I think it’s even confusing for us sometimes. Like curling, you’re just going to have to learn to roll with the changes and shifting foci.

3. With every move you make, someone on the team is going to yell at you.

Seriously– someone needs to explain to me what they’re yelling in curling. At first I just thought it was a language barrier, but even when teams who speak languages I understand play, I still can’t figure out what the heck they’re saying. All I know is that no matter which direction the stone (just looked that one up) is going in, there’s going to be a lot of yelling.

Welcome to being a Christian. It’s fun most of the time, but no matter what you do, someone else on the team is going to *insist* that you don’t understand how to play and is going to yell at you.

The best thing you can do is learn how to tune out those voices. When I’m watching a match of curling (is it a match, or a game?), the player doing all the yelling is distracting to me and doesn’t make it any easier to figure out how the game is supposed to be played. The same is true with being a Christian– loud, obnoxious voices will actually make the journey harder instead of easier, so learn to tune them out so you can sweep that ice in peace. (What’s the goal of sweeping the ice anyway? I can’t figure out if they’re steering or controlling the speed.)

Yes, being a Christian is a lot like watching a game of curling. No one understands the rules, the game is constantly changing, and someone is always yelling at you.

But, all things considered, it’s still the only game I’m interested in playing.

 

About Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey, is an Anabaptist author, speaker, and blogger. His first book, Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus (Release date, August 2014), tells the story of his journey out of lifeless religion and into a fresh expression of Christianity. He is also a contributor for Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, Evangelicals for Social Action, Mennonite World Review, has been a guest on Huffington Post Live, and is one of the CANA Initiators. Ben is also a syndicated author for MennoNerds, a collective of Mennonite and Anabaptist writers. He is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Theology & Missiology), is currently a Doctor of Missiology/Intercultural Studies student at Fuller Seminary, and is a member of the Phi Alpha Chi Honors Society for biblical scholars. Ben lives in Auburn, Maine with his wife Tracy and his daughter Johanna.

You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


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