Last week, the utter chaos that is NCAA conference realignment continued—to the relief of the West Virginia Mountaineers (who have secured a somewhat stable new conference home) and to the horror of what is left of the Big East. For the last several years, as college sports programs have jumped conferences, jumped time zones, and jumped historic commitments, it has been an ongoing tale of the chaos of the college sports scene, where money drives decisions and longstanding alliances and rivalries are jettisoned with the blink of an eye. The WVU move to the Big 12 is only the latest in a series that began when Colorado and Utah jumped to the PAC 12 and Nebraska jumped to the Big Ten, while Syracuse and Pitt abandoned the Big East for the ACC, and Texas A&M and now, apparently, Missouri, leave the Big 12 for the SEC. It’s enough to make your head spin. In the end, you have to wonder what this will mean for the remains of the Big East (rumored to be talking expansion while considering joining the Mountain West and Conference USA in a nationwide mega-conference that will span the continental United States). In such times of chaos, it would appear that the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain.
While this chaos seems to clearly define today’s college sports, however, it is not to mark the life of the follower of Christ. We serve a God of order and design, and that should be reflected in our lives and in the lives of our churches. Paul challenged the church at Corinth, saying: “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
And he also reminded us that: “God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (14:33).
In the act of creation, God spoke order into a universe that was “without form” (Genesis 1:2), and He is still capable of bringing order into those seasons of life where we as believers (or our churches) seem overwhelmed with chaos. In the chaos of this world’s wisdom, confusion reigns: “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:16). But where His wisdom rules, there is real, meaningful peace. In a world of utter chaos, that peace is a priceless gift.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain