I am afraid I have to share with everyone that this years 4th of July celebration just won’t be the same. Why? Is it because the nations economy is still on life support? Is it because oil fills our oceans and so many of our best beaches are vacant? Is it because the US was knocked out of the World Cup? Sadly, no. For me the reason that the 4th of July won’t be the same this year is because professional eater Tekura Kobayashi will not be competing in this years famous Nathans Hot Dog eating contest, which happens every July 4th since 1916, over a contract dispute with Major League Eating. Yes, you heard me correctly. A professional eater has a contract dispute with Major League Eating . It may shock some of us to find out that 1. There is a professional eating league. 2. There are professional eaters and 3. That they hold out over contract disputes just like Major League Baseball or the NFL. Now, If this was Major league Baseball “Nathans Hot Dogs” is the World Series and Kobayashi would be the A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez, he is really good, trust me.) of his “sport”. Kobayashi has the records for:
17.7 pounds of cow brains in 15 minutes
20 pounds (9 kg) of rice balls in 30 minutes
83 vegetarian dumplings in 8 minutes
in 2009 he ate 64.5 hot dogs in 10 minutes at Nathans.
and many more.
Of course, I was being sarcastic about Kobayashi ruining my 4th of July celebration. But, his apparent hold out from the Nathans Hot Dog competition over contracts and money just got me thinking about how far of base we have gotten as a society. I’m not picking on eating competitions or Kobayashi for his unique “gift”. Heck, I’m a Youth Pastor, eating gross stuff is part of the job. But should it be? (Last week we did a competition with Liverwurst, Olive Juice, and Bubble Gum Soda.) I guess am just trying to challenge myself today, and this summer, to really think/pray about areas in my life (and in our culture) that just don’t match up with the teachings of Jesus.
I have been a long time supporter of World Vision and we participate in their 30 Hour Famine event almost every year. World vision puts out unbelievable facts on hunger in the US and all over the world. World Vision is also one of the best child sponsoring organizations in the world. So, this 4th of July would you take just a moment, during all the festivities, to give thanks to God for our country, way of life, our many blessings, and also consider how you can help out someone who is less fortunate? Happy 4th, and may God bless The United States of America!!!