Sports team names have a variety of origins. They come from history (Spartans, Mountaineers), nature (Cardinals, Terrapins), and even colors (Orange, Reds). One even comes from the mollusk family.

In the 1980s, the University of California at Santa Cruz was just starting to get involved in competitive sports. UCSC had a bit of disdain for the overemphasis some big-time schools place on athletics, so the student body sought a team name that would reflect a somewhat different approach. They decided on the Banana Slug, a yellow, slimy, slow, shell-less mollusk. It was a clever way for UCSC to give a balanced perspective on the relative worth of sports.

I have always loved sports, but I know that they can easily become more important than they should be. What matters most in life is what Jesus said is most vital—loving God with all of our hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39). Micah listed God’s requirements this way: “do justly,” “love mercy,” and “walk humbly with your God” (6:8). For believers in Jesus, it is vital that nothing else takes top priority over God’s expectations for us.

What matters most to you? The Spartans? The Red Sox? Or loving God in thought, word, and action?

Lord, what matters most to You today?
What can direct us in each thing we do?
Could it be to let nothing at all
Interfere with our deep love for You? —Branon

Beware of spending too much time on matters of too little importance.