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Cricket is India’s most popular sport and often times elevated to the level of a religion. I am a cricket enthusiast myself though I don’t worship the game. The extent of craze associated with Cricket has made it a top money spinner. Unfortunately, the game has been drawn into great disrepute because of the scandal of match fixing. Games have been deliberately lost and players have performed below par for the sake of money. But the recent controversy in the news related to the Pakistan cricket team has brought a new dimension of match fixing to the public – even no balls can be fixed! The Facebook status of a friend of mine says it all, “Fixing no balls? Wow!” What is amazing is that cricket players who make it to international teams are paid handsomely. In spite of the luxury and affluence that comes as a package of playing for one’s country some of the players fall gullible to the temptations of becoming richer. A number of these cricketers come from humble family backgrounds but succumb to the pressures of being in the spotlight and get carried away. What they do not realize is that the desire to grab and accumulate money comes with a huge price tag. In the end promising careers end so abruptly and one can only feel sorry for the potential that goes waste.

Can we learn some lessons from these match fixing scandals? I certainly believe so. A number of us are driven by the desire to become rich. Money becomes the sole dictating factor behind all decisions and ultimately it leads us to the pathway of destruction. The Bible has a lot to talk about the subject of finances. Apostle Paul told his young disciple Timothy, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Tim 6:9-10). These are wise words that speak profoundly to our present generation. The greatest of deception is the belief that the pursuit of money brings pleasure. People who believe this deception end up with great regrets when they reach the fag end of life. They might have successfully accumulated lots of material things but in the process they deprived themselves of things which are of lasting value. The money they so treasured gave them temporary excitement but did not fill the void in their hearts and left them totally shattered and disillusioned.

Whether we are cricket players or software professionals or engineers or doctors – let us learn to re-order our priorities of life. Becoming rich and famous is not the end goal of life. We will find inner meaning and purpose when we learn to align our life with the principles of the Bible. Instead of loving money, we should learn to love God and love our fellow people. Let us take heed the words of Jesus Christ, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matt 6:19-21). Jesus did not condemn money in itself but the hoarding of money which is nothing but sheer greediness. When we live only with a perspective of this life on earth then a reservoir of money and carnal pleasures will appear glamorous. But when we live in light of the life to come such glamorous things turn pale and we will be motivated to go after spiritual riches.

By Ashwin Ramani, Calgary, Canada.

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