Saturday, April 6, 2013

Elder Holland's Sports Metaphors Fall on my Convoluted Metaphorical Ears

This picture has been going around Facebook for the last few days as General Conference was imminent. It makes me wonder how aware Elder Holland is of his Meme popularity. I found this one while I was surfing for his quotes:


Back to the original picture and its quote.

When I first read it, I thought to myself, "Wow! He's got it right!"

Then I read it again and thought to myself, "Hmm... I know what team I'm on."

In fact, I do know the team I want to play for, I'm just one of those unfortunate players who is perpetually confused on the field.

You know those TV shows and movies in the 80's where some unfortunate, young wanna-be sports star finally gets on the team, only to score points for the opposing team? Yeah, that's me.

My jersey is right... I just keep getting the goals mixed up.

To make matters worse, the other team keeps sending their own members to our side, wearing our jerseys, leading us to believe that we can safely pass the ball to them or expect to be protected by them. It soon becomes clear that they are not only scoring points for the other side, but they keep knocking us down every chance they get and, at every turn, confuse us into scoring for the wrong side as well. To top it all off, there are other people playing the game that keep switching sides, wearing jerseys that don't represent either side and keep laying down on the field in an attempt to not play at all. 

Cheating runs rampant and the referees either don't see it, or treat it as part of the game and do nothing. In fact, the people dressed as referees are often playing for one side or the other and ejecting people for imaginary reasons. There IS a rule book, but most players dismiss it as archaic or outright garbage. As a result, there are numerous fake rule books adding to the confusion. 

There are two or more scoreboards. The real one is small and simple, almost unnoticeable, keeping track of the game-play score. The other scoreboard(s) track how attractive each team looks in their jerseys, how much fun they look like they're having, which one have the nicest houses and cars and how good they are at attracting attention to their side for reasons other than playing the game.

The sports announcers and commentators rarely report the plays, but instead concentrate on the drama of ongoing friendships and romances amongst the players.

Imagine being a spectator at that game... unfortunately, none of us are spectators. We're all playing at the same time, making the game vast, confusing and complex.

I don't say all this as an excuse for any of my behavior or mistakes. I only illustrate the intense difficulty in playing this game that is both simple and complex at the same time.

If we can recognize and read the real rule book, we have all we need to make sure we're not just playing for the correct side, but actually scoring. Hopefully, we can resist the distractions and deception of the opposition, and learn to ignore those things that are portrayed as important but hold no value in playing the game.

I suppose I over-analyzed Elder Holland's quote, but it did make me think about something that is important. It also made me realize that I need to play closer attention to this game of life and make sure I'm no longer confused about my role.



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