In another part of the paper, editor Jeff Whitten will report on the first week of the college football season, and in particular on the antics of the Pembroke Mafia Football League.
I was invited to join that league this year, and so a week ago I submitted my picks to win 12 games for the first week. I was quite confident that I would find myself leading the pack and would steadily build my lead throughout the entire season. After all, I have watched in amusement the last few years as the original members have missed so many games.
When I emailed my picks to B.J. Clark, I almost headlined it “Twelve Perfect Picks, #twelveando.” Then came the games. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And the results got worse as the long weekend continued.
I went to bed at halftime of the final game realizing that I had lost another one. No, 12-0 was not the result. Rather it was 6-6. How could that be? How could someone as wise and intelligent as I am miss on half of the games?
And then I recall just one verse of scripture: “Pride goes before the fall.”
Pride. Just what is pride? The dictionary defines it as, “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievement.” Another way of describing pride is to call it arrogance.
I think it can be argued that pride and selfishness are the root sins for almost all others. Pride says that I can do it all by myself. I need no one to help me, not even God. And it selfishness says that I want what I want, and no one else matters.
God calls us to selfless service of others, and also to absolute submission to his will. When pride rules our lives we dismiss God altogether. We depend on our own abilities. God wants us to trust him.
I’ve already submitted my Week 2 picks. I no longer have any illusions of a perfect week. In fact, I just hope not to be in last place.
If I’m not more successful this week, I’m thinking of finding a way to let my little beagle help me for the rest of the season. Couldn’t hurt.