God’s Word for Today: Cheer. In conjunction with this week addressing the different levels of fan/fanatic, we cannot leave a day out that doesn’t include the word cheer. After all, what good is a fanatic if they do not have the ability to cheer their favorite team on to victory?
One phenomenon that has grown over the years and is in itself a whole other form of fanatic, is that of the tailgater. A little research into this new culture called tailgating has taught me some surprising facts. First, there is actually an American Tailgaters Association. Second, the first recorded tailgating dates back to 1861 which was 8 years before the first American football game. And, a considerable number of years before we had cars/pickup trucks, and there were actual tailgates.
In USA, this first tailgate was on a Sunday, right before the First Battle of Bull Run. The story goes that civilians arrived at the battlefield in wagons loaded with wines, whiskeys, and food. In reality, wagons should be given credit for the first tailgates. I never thought of that till now. There is actually even earlier recorded history of tailgating type events. But, it includes the Reign of Terror in France and guillotines. So, if needed, you can research that on your own.
The current form of tailgating includes our 3rd level of fanatic. They are the ones who are totally committed to their favorite team. They have spent countless dollars on all the equipment necessary to have a small feast before, during, and after the game. Most of this equipment including proper flags and canopies, are emblazed with the team of choice’s logo. It is almost a whole other culture that has grown to unbelievable proportions. If you haven’t experienced tailgating yet, I encourage you to add it to your bucket list. If you are one of the diehard tailgaters, you know what I am talking about, and I salute you.
Proverbs 15:13. A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Part of being a committed fanatic is the ups and downs of the game. At one moment, you are happy and cheerful. Usually after your teams scores. Then, the next minute you have your spirit crushed because they opposing team scored and took the lead. Prior to the game, during tailgating, both team’s fanatics are hopeful of a win. There is anxiety. But, there is mainly happy hearts and cheerful faces. After the game, there is a different story. One team’s fanatics are cheerful, the other team’s group has a crushed spirit.
No matter whether your team won or lost, you are soon anticipating the next game. You move past the disappointment and again start loading your cooler and packing all your necessary tailgating equipment. It is always time to get over one upset and move on to the next possible win. Or, if you have a good team, you chalk up the previous win, and look with anticipation to the next one.
Life can be exactly the same. Especially when life includes the Christian walk. There are still many ups and downs. There are those believers who include all of the Christian memorabilia in their daily walk. Or, at least get it prepped and ready prior to attending Church. That is OK. That is the human part of showing an outward example of our Faith. I hate to say it, but just like sports, the Christian share of market sales of products, is huge. This market enables me to be just as proud to wear a tee shirt that expresses my Faith in Jesus as I am proud of my latest Cornhusker shirt. Bear with me this week, we will sum up all of these different levels of fanatic. Just like our Christian walk should be, please don’t judge these words too soon.
For today, acknowledge that life is also going to have its ups and downs. No matter how faithful you are. No matter how much you have committed your life and your finances to the outward expression of your love for God. There is still going to be happy and cheerful times and, there are going to be times when there is no cheer because of the weight of disappointment, loss, and heartache. The answer is not to get stuck at that one level whether good or bad. The main point is, to be able to use God’s strength and God’s abundant blessings to move on to the next challenge/game in your life…………………