God’s Word for Today: Team. To cover this week of being a fanatic, we must include the predominant reason to be a fanatic. That is of course the team. We all have our favorites. From the first teams formed as little kids, up to the professional level where the money at times far outweighs the actual value of the team. You would also think the level or degree of fanatic would increase with level of talent, but I would question that theory.
Maybe gross sales and net profit of a team increases with talent. But, I believe outright fanatical reactions at games will never be equaled to that of Little League whatever sport. This would be kids ranging from 4 years old on up to 14 or 15 years old? This is the level of competition where the parents still have the hope and dream that their child will make it all the way to the professional level. That is a good dream, if taken in stride, and used for the positive development of a child. I am afraid some parents have a tendency to miss the mark. I hope I never crossed the line between being a supportive parent and a bulldozer. Maybe to some degrees and at some levels I did. If so, I am sorry.
Funny story. One of the first Custom motorcycle shows I entered was in Kearney, Nebraska. Kearney is a nice, quiet college town that is forever growing. Census in 2013 shows just over 32,000 people. The bike show started Friday evening with registrations of bikes and vendors setting up their booths. The actual show was all day Saturday and half a day on Sunday. The powers that be and the self-important people of town were quite nervous about this Bike Show, some of the vendors, and participants. Thus, extra Police were put on duty both Friday and Saturday night.
You see, these Custom Bike shows include vendors selling their own memorabilia of tee-shirts and caps and other artifacts common to a Bike Club. The kicker, and what made the good people of Kearney so nervous was the fact that the Bike Clubs represented were the likes of Hells Angels, Diablos, Bandidos, and maybe the Outlaws. These clubs are notorious for not getting along very well. Case in point was in Waco, Texas this spring. Thus, the added City Police force.
What is unique about these Bike Shows and the Outlaw type Biker Clubs that participate is, they all get along very, very well. I should mention that there are also Christian motorcycle clubs, Tupperware vendors, and any number of other people selling their wares. These people all attend most every show and are quite acquainted with each other. I witnessed many handshakes and lots of friendly conversation between all parties involved. If each club didn’t have their own unique badges and patches, you would think they were all from the same group. I believe they are all smart enough to know that if they didn’t get along, they would never be able to sell anything at these shows and raise money for their club.
So, because of either ignorance or lack of understanding of the Biker Brotherhood, all these extra Police were pretty much hanging around twiddling their thumbs. That is until, two dads of Little League Wrestling got into a big brawl at the Ramada Inn. You see, at the same time this “possibly dangerous and out of control” Bike Show was going on in Kearney, there was also a rather large Little League wrestling tournament. I believe the sport of wrestling carries a much higher level of emotion than most other sports. This emotion is supposed to be for the team and participants. Apparently, these 2 dads had let their own emotions get out of control. At least the extra Police force had something to do for awhile.
Ephesians 4:31-32. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
With today’s word team, we also have to include competition. With good, hard fought competition comes the possibility of bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, and slander. You would think all of these emotions would be confined to the playing field. No, the fans actually take these negative emotions to a whole new level. I believe some of the worst or best, depends how you view it, fights and brawls have been from certain soccer fans around the world. It is almost a unique level of fanatics that are involved with the sport of soccer. That would also include soccer Moms as well.
Let’s put sports aside though. Instead why don’t we talk about religion and the fanatics involved there. We are talking since the beginning of man, the dispute over who had the ultimate religion. Yes, wars have been fought. Millions have lost their lives in the name of their religion. I am pretty sure God did not plan it this way.
As Christians, aren’t we sometimes just as fanatical? Do we believe the Church we have chosen to worship in is that much better than any other Church that carries the same belief of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? I don’t know if I have ever witnessed brawling between two Churches. I have witnessed bitterness, rage, anger and slander. Kind of sad. Although, I am just as guilty. Just like “boooooing” the other team, I have often criticized the teaching and practices of other Christian churches.
Today would be a good day to address the portions of your life that tend to bring out the most negative malice in us. What makes us jump into the middle of having bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, and slander? Maybe we don’t have all of these traits but I guarantee we all have more than one of them. Instead, today, find what brings on the second half of our Scripture, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. After all, at the end of every game, all the aggression is put to the side, and the competitors, the teams, shake hands. Isn’t it time we on Jesus’s team act the same? Isn’t today a good day to start with being kind to one another, showing compassion for our fellow man, and handing out forgiveness just like Jesus did……………….