By Kelly Carr, Editor
Our household joined the international excitement over the World Cup this summer. Generally in the U.S. we aren’t as intense as the rest of the world with the sport of futbol (aka: soccer). But intense was truly the word to describe the games.
The thrill and pressure of the competition brought out occasional ugliness. In the group stage of games, two different players head-butted an opponent. A player for Uruguay even got so mad he bit another man on the shoulder—and it’s not the first time he’s done that in a game!
Fans in the stands were equally intense in a positive way. Country colors were splattered across faces, outfits, and banners. Cheers roared at goals. Tears poured at losses.
But one story struck me in its quiet kindness.
There were many acts of camaraderie and respect among players and spectators that didn’t make headlines. But it lifted my spirits to hear a news report about the Japanese fans.
These fans of the Samurai Blue brought blue trash bags to the games. They waved them in the air or wore them if it rained. The purpose was to have a huge section of the stadium filled with their team’s color.
Then after each game, the Japanese fans took their blue bags and picked up trash. NPR reporter Melissa Block interviewed one fan named Kei Kawai about this. “We try to do little bit of cleanup to show respect to the host country,” said Kawai. “We are all told in school that we clean up our things and when we come somewhere, we just clean up even better than when we come in.”
Block asked him if they cleaned everyone’s trash, not just their own. “Yeah . . . not just ours . . . when we are cleaning up we are just doing, like, a little bit more,” said Kawai.
Living Out Our Calling
Over the next three issues, we are considering the calling God has for us as stated in 2 Peter 1. At first the word calling might sound intimidating, as do the eight parts of that calling listed in vv. 5-7—faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, love. But we are going to break down each one and show that there are practical things every Christian can do to live out these aspects of our calling.
No matter where we are on our journey with God, we can do something. We aren’t asked to do more than what we can handle. But each step of the way we are asked to do what the Japanese fans were doing: “a little bit more.”
Are you just beginning to acquire faith? Do a little bit more and strive to deepen it. Have you been practicing acts of goodness your entire life? Do a little bit more and find some new area to spread goodness where you haven’t done so before.
Let’s look around us and see how God is moving in our world, in our city, in our church, in our family. Then jump in and be a part of his work. Find one way each day to do a little bit more.