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April 20, 2024

I finished my laps and jumped out of the pool. Immediately, I sat down and looked at my phone to check my swim data. Suddenly an elderly man approached me and said to me in a heavy European accent, “Can you check the Champions League (European futbol tournament) score for me?” “What team do you want me to look up?” “Benfica.” I looked it up for him on my phone (and realized it was not Champions League but Europa League, but that won’t matter to the readers.) At 81 minutes, Benfica was tied at 0:0 against Marseille. He looked anxious and I encourage the elderly man that there was still time for his team to score and advance to the next round. The man left but he couldn’t wait and returned to me about 4 minutes later. In those minutes, Marseille scored a goal and his team was losing. He wasn’t too happy. He said he will stay with me until the game ended (we weren’t even watching the actual game, just the game timeline on Google). I told him that I needed to go now and take a shower. He understood and left.

Once the shower was done, I was getting changed in the locker room and I could hear this elderly man asking around “Do you have your phone with you?” No one had their phones on them and since I knew this man’s intentions, I went up to him to show the score. Benfica didn’t score up until now and it was apparent that his team was going to lose as the game went into injury time. Without saying another word, he turned around and left angry.

I didn’t mind his attitude. I was amazed at the amount of passion he had for his favorite team. After all, Europeans are known for their love of the game of futbol. Instantly I started thinking about my passion for Jesus and ministry. For Paul said in Romans 12:11, “not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” He also said to the elders in Ephesus, “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24. May we all have the same passion and love for Jesus and ministry.


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