My son and I had the opportunity to go to the Florida Georgia Game in Jacksonville this past weekend. I couldn’t help but be aware of some things Jesus was teaching me when we walked through the crowd and sat in the stands:
- A lot of people live for college football so they have an excuse to party and drink. I’m not judging, but I couldn’t help but wondering if for some, this was their church: There was fellowship (tailgating); singing (“We are the Boys from Old Florida…” plus some Georgia song I didn’t catch); praise (“Did you see that tackle!”); and even a sermon or two (“That coach ought to run wide right, there’s an room on the edge”). I’m not saying church ought to be more like a ball game, but there was lot more passion at “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” than in some churches I’ve been in.
- If you lead, people will have opinions of how you are doing. Most of the critics have never played the game or coached a down. So don’t let the critics call your plays.
- I saw a lot of women dressed in a way to highlight their sexuality. I could sense Jesus wanting to speak to them, “You are so much more than your looks. Don’t equate your value with male approval.” I hope they could hear His gracious voice.
- Jesus loves everyone in the stadium, no matter which team they pulled for. To be His follower, I need to love everyone in the stadium too, even the drunk guy in front of me who won’t sit down. Loving people isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.