Thinking About Bodies...
The Problem With Living In Your Body

The Spirituality of Being in the Zone

I was delighted (and a little surprised) to read an article in the Washington Post this morning that addressed a really problematic religious practice, and ended up not reducing it or dismissing it, but complexifying it, allowing it to gain nuance and texture. The article was entitled, "You've Gotta Have Faith: Colorado Rockies at Play in the Fields of the Lord." It made note of the Rockies players who cross themselves on the field, point to heaven after a success, or wear crosses with their uniforms. It also mentioned the team's supposedly "Christian" code of conduct. But instead of scoffing at how silly it is to claim that God would be on the side of the Rockies (or how absurd it would be to imagine God being against the Red Sox!) the writer pushed on to acknowledge that teams do have experiences of being "in the zone". That, even more than winning, feels to many like a religious experience.

I know exactly what he's saying, and I've felt it myself, running or preaching or doing other activities where I get into a state of flow. In fact, I once preached a sermon where I claimed that seeing Sara Hughes win the gold medal in figure skating in 2004 was like seeing the Kingdom of God come to earth. For a few minutes, she broke through to the other side.

Still, for what it's worth, I'm praying for the Red Sox.


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