Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 269- A Family Pigskin First

Today, I took the family to a Pleasant Home football game for my "first."

Pleasant Home is the name of the school my children attend.  Laura and I have attended football games there before. Laura and Hannah Grace have been to one.  All 4 of us have never been to one.  This was Joel's first PHS game to attend.  It was time for the family to go to a football game together and we had a lot of fun.

We saw a lot of our friends at the game.  There was a lot of cheering, laughter, and great conversation.  We were proud of our young men who played hard.  The weather was great.  So, it made for a really nice Friday evening.

On the way home, I asked everybody what they enjoyed the most.  Hannah Grace said seeing her friends.  Joel said attending his first football game. We've watched games together on TV before, but this was Joel's first game to attend.  Laura liked visiting with friends and sharing the excitement of the game with them.  Laura was probably the best cheer person of our family.  Hannah Grace caught one of the small plastic footballs the cheerleaders threw into the stands. There was something for everyone.

MVP Cheerleader of the Wilkinsons
Sweaty boy


Joel watched for a while and then saw some of his friends playing in the grass near the south end of the bleachers.  He decided to play with his friends (and some people he did not know). I asked him what game they were playing because they had a football and yet there were no teams. He said it was kill the man with the football; tackle version.  He said if there had been smaller kids they would have played two hand touch.  I guess that would be maim the man with the football or something like that.

Here's what I thought about as we were driving home from the game. Joel was the only one of us that got really sweaty at the game. He was the only one that sustained injuries at the game. Had I played with him and his friends, I'm sure I would have sustained injuries that lasted longer than his will. He got a scrape on his knee, scrape on his elbow, took an elbow to the stomach, hurt his wrist, and said his finger got crushed. It does not look crushed. The reason he was so sweaty and sustained injuries is because he was actually in a game. The rest of us were spectators.

I'm afraid that many "Christians" see Christianity as a spectator sport.  They come to church and watch and decide if they liked it or not. The problem with that is that every follower of Jesus is in the game.  Some may see themselves as spectators and evaluate if they like the church service.  In reality, God is the audience and He evaluates each person's worship. 

If you are in a game of football, you are likely to sustain an injury or two.  As followers of Jesus, we are likely to get hurt.  After all, Jesus was ridiculed, rejected, beaten, and killed. If we are following Him, we should not expect a pain-free life.  Jesus said in John 15:20, "Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also."

A lot of Christians shrink back from being bold about their faith because they are afraid they might be rejected, made fun, or embarrassed.  Maybe followers of Jesus should expect this instead of fearing it.  If we really want to be like Jesus, we have to be persecuted in some form. He was.  That truth just sort of settled on me as I was writing this.  The very things that some of  us run away from is a part of being like Jesus.  It would be very hard to read the Bible and not understand that Jesus was not treated kindly all the time. Not everyone loved Jesus.

So, let's get in the game. We might get hurt some and we will probably get sweaty, but there is not the thrill of the game if you are not in it.  We have too many "spectator Christians" and need more in the game.

Glad the abundant life is not a spectator sport

3 things I thank God for today
1. The fun of attending a football game together
2. The joy of working with some Christian brothers
3. Jesus was courageous and not afraid of persecution

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