Alex, Nathan, and Jared went to a Premier League soccer game the end of April. It ended up being disappointing because Newcastle lost to West Brom 1-0 (so they didn't even get to experience Newcastle scoring a goal). They were supposed to go to the Newcastle vs. Manchester game in February (the day before Alex left for Antarctica). Nathan got tickets for Christmas (and they were really expensive too - about $300 each). It was a Saturday game and supposed to be one of the best games of the season. However... about 2 weeks before the game, we found out that they moved the game to Sunday. That presented a couple of problems: (1) Alex wouldn't be able to make it, since he was headed out that day to Antarctica (2) We don't usually attend things like this on Sundays (not keeping the Sabbath Day holy).
In the past, on rare occasions we have attended a game or went out to eat or something on Sunday. But it's not considered an appropriate activity for Sunday in our faith, so that presented a tough choice. Should we go to the game or not? In our minds, we were trying to justify that since we spent so much money, we should just go to the game. We asked some family members what they thought - we had some thinking along the same lines as us, that it would be okay this time. My nephew Nicholas said we should just not go to the game and we would be blessed.
We decided to try to sell the tickets, but we had a deadline on that before they shipped the actual tickets to us. By the evening of the deadline, we hadn't received word of a sale from the vendor, so we still had the tickets and the same dilemna. I kept thinking about what Nicholas said, and I also had recently read a talk about keeping the sabbath day holy. In that talk, it pointed out how someone began to justify behaviors by past experiences, rationalizing that it was okay because of the times in the past. And we found ourselves in the same situation. We thought about when we went to the World Cup Final in Germany on a Sunday evening. We were justifying based on a past not-as-good choice. As we kept thinking about it, I felt like we should just chalk it up and not go to the game, that the Lord would bless us for making a better choice. So we decided that we wouldn't go and would keep the Sabbath Day holy.
After we made the decision, the next day we learned that 2 of the tickets DID sell, so that was a blessing. We weren't able to sell the last ticket, but maybe it will serve as a reminder of the choice made to keep the Sabbath Day holy that day. What made it even harder was learning that it was a great game and Newcastle won 1-0. Missing a great game and $300 wasted, but can you really put a price on choosing the right? Nathan will be able to remember that experience and the sacrifice he made. We don't know how, but I know he will be blessed for making that choice.
The expensive souvenir ticket:
(disregard the price and the generic name - we did pay much more than 48 pounds for it!)