Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Well, on June 22nd, at Moses Mahbida, the South Korean National Football Team clashed with the Nigerian National Football Team, both teams needing to win to enter the next round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. I'm not a big football (soccer for Americans), though I did play as a child. Also, I'm not too big into rooting for South Korea, for being Korean-American, my identity has a lot of grey areas, areas I've been mapping and re-shapping my identity boundary lines. Being a bit nomadic, now living in South Africa and dating a Nigerian, has added more color to the map. Basically, much like Shrek, I've got layers.
So we were sitting behind the East goal, where in the first half South Korea was defending. Nigeria scored the first goal after the 12th minutes and I was happy, and blew the vuvuzela. I noticed that our section, though mostly South African, were cheering for Nigeria. Grace was very excited and did a little dance. Now, the next goal surprised me. South Korea scored in the 38th minute and suddenly I found myself jumping to my feet cheering even louder. I sat down, as Grace was almost doubling over in her seat in anguish, realizing this energy exploded out of me. It was something very unexpected. In the 49th minute, South Korea scored again and this time, I exploded in cheering even more so and Grace was in absolute disgust!
At that moment, I was realizing a sermon I had heard from Tim Keller (Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC). He was explaining that joy needs to be shared for joy to be complete. When one watches (or used to watch) Michael Jordan drive to the hoop, in the midst of a mountain of defenders, only to perform another miracle and score, cheering alone only engages half the heart. When cheering with others, your hearts explode with other hearts, creating a level a joy that only comes with needs others, community. Joy is better with others than alone, especially with the ones you love.