I am a graduate of the prestigious University of Michigan, so I naturally have a hatred in my heart for Ohio State University (or, as those pretentious Buckeyes say, “The Ohio State University”).

It’s not like there’s much of a contest here.

  • UM is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently named The Best City To Live In America by a completely unbiased source. (Plus, they have great beer.) Meanwhile, OSU is located in… Ohio.
  • UM has the most “winningest” college football program of all time.
  • UM is #4 in the top public university ranking by US News & World Report. OSU is there too, but way way way down the list (#16).

Besides at the public university level, Michigan’s superiority as a state is also well documented by unbiased sources.

Not to mention, every general (presidential) election, we have to stay up late watching CNN to figure out what Ohio is going to do because the fate of the nation lies in the hands of swing state voters.

I could go on.

I was at a work lunch the other day, taunting a guy on my team who’s from Ohio, because let’s face it, his state sucks. Drive south on I-75, and as soon as you enter Ohio, you start smelling cow-filth, and then you have to pay an exorbitant toll just to stay on the freeway so you can drive a paltry 65 mph, but if you happen to venture 1 mph over the speed limit, the cops pull you over immediately for reckless driving. And there’s no way out of a speeding ticket if you have a Michigan license plate, because all the cops there are prejudiced against normal people.

Of course, my coworker retorted that he’s never seen worse roads than in Michigan, no one in Ohio has dirt roads, blah blah blah. I don’t know, I wasn’t really listening. Ohio sucks.

Tribal Warfare

This type of back and forth between me and my coworker is obviously nothing new. It’s just a natural tribal warfare thing. We are defending our tribes, and will do so to the death.

(For those of you unfamiliar with the UM-OSU football rivalry… it’s actually pretty ugly. I haven’t heard of it ever ending in death, but it certainly goes further than it should — take it from a marching band alum who needed a police escort just to enter the state of Ohio.)

Of course, I’m in the right, and my coworker is in the wrong. Somehow, he will claim the same thing, that he’s in the right and I’m in the wrong… but I can’t imagine how that’s even possible, since my views are correct. See the above section for clear unbiased evidence.

This gets really ugly when you start to bring religion into the mix. (You know this already, but I want to talk about it, because it’s important.)

God is on my side

The hero and the saint, the tyrant and the terrorist… depends on who you’re asking. — The Reign of Kindo

By the way, if you’re unfamiliar with The Reign of Kindo, that’s a problem you can easily solve. Right now.

Ever see someone emerging from a victory, and thanking God for it?


Here’s a thought.

What if God doesn’t want you to win? What if winning doesn’t actually imply God’s favor?

(No offense to Tim Tebow, or any other athlete or human thanking God for their success.)

What if God knows you learn more by losing than by winning, but he’s allowing you to win this time because he’s teaching your opponent a different lesson by having them lose, and their lesson fits better into the huge multidimensional “all activities of all people” Gantt chart that he maintains somewhere…?

If we follow this line of thinking to its end, why pray to win at all?

I’m not mocking or challenging the notion of praying to God “constantly” or even about “mundane” things, as is suggested to us in the Bible (for example, in 1 Peter 5:7, or 1 Thes. 5:17, well known New Testament passages about praying often). I am however, challenging the notion that praying for “victory” is useful or correct. Especially if it means you’re praying for someone else to lose.

Maybe instead of praying for outcomes, we should pray for our character to become more like Christ.

God, make me into a teachable person.

God, may I learn to love my enemies.

God, teach me to walk in your kingdom, not mine.

God, help me embrace and learn from failure.

Wait, back up… are you saying God doesn’t want me to succeed?

(And do I really have to love Ohio?)

You cannot talk defeat and expect to have victory. Send your words out in the direction you want your life to go — Joel Osteen

We’ll save the debates about the “Prosperity Gospel” for another day. I would like to suggest, however, as Christians, we have an ultimate example of what it means to be a human connected with God… and he wasn’t exactly a winner. If we want to model ourselves after him, maybe we should get preoccupied with something other than our own prosperity.

Anyway, sorry. Joel Osteen wasn’t the point here.

Why do we ask God for help in our battles?

Where did that “meme” come from?

I think the answer is, it runs deep in our bones, deep in our personalities, deep in our psyche, and it’s part of the Spiral Dynamics “purple” vMEME — and the ancient Israelite tribe modeled it for us all the time in their Hebrew Scriptures. If you aren’t looking for it, you may miss it. I only recently saw it.

I’ll have to save the details for next time… it’s way too much for one article.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. Peace!


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