As I watched the highlights, replays and reactions and then later reflected on it my mind went to work. With 10 seconds to go, many fans were disappointed and already tasting the loss, but then the unthinkable happens and there was pure shock and joy. I was thankful to hear players give God glory in post-game interviews and even our quarterback noted this wasn't the best day of his life...that was the day he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. So there were good things, but there were also some teachable moments for me; read on and there might be one for you too.
Through the years, the Vikings haven't had a lot of postseason success and even when they made a deep run into the play-offs it hasn't ended with victory. I wasn't here for the four Super Bowl losses, but have been let down in a few heart-breaking play-off defeats. Even through this, I still sport the purple and gold and call myself a Vikings fan. Through the years, I'd consider myself a loyal fan. I'm not a diehard, but I keep up with the scores, watch when life allows and want them to win.
As I listened to the reactions, observed the emotion and experienced my own, I was challenged. What if all these crazy fans were this loyal to God and excited about their faith? What if I was all the time?
Friend, think about what you devote your time to - What leaves you excited? What has your attention? Is it God? Are you drawn to His Word like you are the big game? Do you devote time to prayer like your favorite team, hobby or tv show? Many loyal fans will never miss a game, but how often do so called Christians miss church, prayer time or morning devotions? (Believe me, I'm reading these words as I type them, so this message is for me too!)
In the last twenty years, sports have changed a bit...maybe not sports, but how people cheer for a team. If you look at the youth today, they don't necessarily have a favorite team. Back in the days before cable and the internet, you pretty much chose a regional team if you wanted to get coverage, but today we have access to not just the games and weekly newspaper articles, but non-stop info and even tweets from players themselves. It's easy to like this team today, but be a fan of another tomorrow.
If the Vikings lose today, I wonder how many loyal fans will still stand strong. Or will they abandon ship, put the purple jersey in their drawer and pull out an Eagles one for the Super Bowl? I don't know, but do understand it's not always easy to be loyal.
That's not just true in sports, but faith as well. We can thank God when things go well, but do we praise Him in the storm? We can worship Him when the church music plays, but do we do the same when the demands of life scream? We draw near when we're emotionally strong, but do we do the same when life has us depressed?
Win or lose there will be some Viking fans who stand strong and remain loyal, I know because I'll be one of them, but more than that I want to be a disciple of Jesus who is loyal through the wins and losses of life. I don't want to be a bandwagon fan who shows up when times are good for my favorite team and I never want to react that way when it comes to God. How about you?
No matter what game you watch or team you cheer for, I encourage you to be a follower of Christ who is loyal! God has set us apart, He wants us to be committed and willing to take a stand. When it comes to our faith, we can't be on the fence and we must pledge allegiance to our Father in heaven.
Here are a few words from the Word about loyalty -
Friend, a loyal sports fan is committed to their team, a loyal friend makes sacrifices for those they love and loyal Christian must surrender all for the Lord of their life!
A truly loyal fan wears their team jersey with pride win or lose, they are not ashamed...as believers in Jesus, may we do the same!!