The horse race taking place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May is known as “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”. There is usually a lot of pomp and circumstance over a bunch of horses running for two minutes for the coveted garland of roses. There is a fireworks show, various concerts, a paddle boat race, a mini-marathon race, a balloon glow and a parade. That does not even count all the parties that lead up to the Derby.
Many people want to be part of the excitement surrounding the Kentucky Derby. The attendance ranking of the Kentucky Derby generally surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races together with the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup races. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_Derby) People from all over come to see the hats, drink the mint juleps, place the bets and of course watch their favorite horse run and hopefully win.
For the spectators, the weeks and days leading up to the main event can be as all-consuming as if they are training to win the Kentucky Derby themselves. Buying the shoes to go with the dress to finding the perfect hat to round out the ensemble can be an Olympic sport to some women. Preparing your house and yard for a Derby party can devour what little extra time you have after work or on the weekends leading up to the big day.
However, our compulsion to go all in with gusto is just not restricted to the Kentucky Derby. We get fanatical during March Madness and football season, or if you are into baseball or hockey or soccer. It does not matter the shape of the ball or the puck because it does not even need to be a sport. It can be a hobby, a job, a friendship, social media, or an addiction.
When was the last time you got enthusiastic about Jesus? I know that I cannot tell you when the last time I got enthusiastic about Jesus like I do about the Kentucky Derby. It has been a long time. I put more effort into finding a special shampoo on Sunday than I did with my quiet time that morning. I would not rest until I found that special shampoo, but with my quiet time, I allowed myself to drift off to sleep.
I am not saying that being passionate about a horse or hockey team is bad. What I am saying is that we need to better order our priorities. Instead of putting the decorations for the Derby party on the top of my to-do list this week, I should take time to be Jesus to a friend who has been struggling with depression.