If They Don't have Football in Heaven

In Whitby, seen here in the reflection of a shop window, thousands of tourists repair each year. As such seaside resorts are wont to do, its shops sell t-shirts upon which various witticisms and sardonic phrases are printed. The one above caught my attention. Notwithstanding the inherent humour such a phrase is meant to contain, it still made me shudder, because to so many in godless Britain, it is perfectly true. I have two basic problems with it.

Firstly, it is absurd. It is like an unborn child remarking that it would prefer to remain unborn than discover there are no umbilical cords employed in the outside world, or no dull-sounding voices saying phrases like “not long to go now!” and “when are you due?”. Life without the womb is far richer than life within. Life in heaven is far better than any earthly life enhanced by the weekly ups and downs of association football. The least in heaven will be better satisfied than the happiest worldling; the least more applauded and celebrated than the greatest World Cup star.

Secondly, it reveals the crassness of the fallen heart. Like a child refusing to go and visit an elderly relative, preferring instead to climb trees or make mud pies, those who would forego heaven for the sake of a game are shown to be primarily selfish and fundamentally stupid. If watching millionaires kick a leather ball about for ninety minutes is more important to you than a right relationship with the Living God, then you are indeed unworthy of Him. Few will wear such a t-shirt, but for many does it convey their priorities. If football is the idol of your heart, then truly, you're not going to heaven. 

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 10:37-39, King James Version