Question.. Who claims to know everything but actually knows very little? Answer- a sports fan! Admit it, you’ve at least witnessed someone obnoxiously dressed in their team’s colors yelling expletives at the coach hundreds of yards away when things didn’t go the way they thought they should. However, in the next breath they are praising him more than some people do on any given Sunday when they make a great play. There is a constant ebb and flow when your emotional well-being depends on a game.
Like most Alabamians, my favorite team was chosen for me before I was even born. Thankfully, my parents are smart and pull for the Crimson Tide (just kidding my Auburn friends!). Having said that, I think it’s safe to say I have seen my fair share of these fans…I’ve even been one myself (except for saying the expletives).
Among it’s many steep traditions, Alabama has coined the term “We live it”, something that resonated with me and gave me such pride when I was at the Capstone. Winning three national championships wasn’t too shabby either…just saying.
But something changed when I graduated from my beloved Alma mater.
I looked back and saw how much football dominated my time there. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it has always been a part of my life and culture but last football season something just didn’t seem to feel like all the other seasons.
The phrase “we live it” still spoke to me but in a different way.
I started to ask myself….
Why could I “live for”a four hour game but complain if a sermon went past 12:00?
Why could I sing “Yea Alabama” with such enthusiasm but barely sing worship songs without almost falling asleep?
Why could I remember numerous facts (and stats from a game- not to mention the depth chart) but struggle to remember Bible verses?
Why could I strike up a random conversation with a stranger who said “Roll tide!” but couldn’t share my testimony and the Gospel in a lost and dying world?
Finally I realized it came down to one thing- priorities.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t like what God had revealed to me…at first. It wasn’t like I was making sacrifices to the Bear Bryant statue or anything. But in so many ways, I had made football a god. So after a lot of prayer I asked God to work on my heart and change my priorities. The funny thing about prayer is that God will listen and he expects you to obey. And you know what’s even funnier- he has replaced that passion I once had for football with passion to do His will.
I think that’s what being a Christian is all about. Taking the risk (you might could even call it faith) and trusting that God isn’t going to punish you by taking things away but will replace them with things you long for….things such as peace, purpose, and most of all love and acceptance. All He asks us to do is…. Live it!!
Oh, and just to be clear, I do still wear my crimson and white and would not mind at all to get #16 this year.