“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11 (NIV)
Jase is a HUGE LSU fan! He follows every one of their football and baseball games, no matter what is going on. He schedules his life around the football games, trying his best to be at home on our couch to watch each one. He has downloaded the fastest LSU apps in order to get up-to-the-second play-by-play action for every one of the baseball games if he can’t find it on TV. Before cell phones, he would turn our house phone’s ringer off, lock all the doors and turn off the lights. He did not want ANY distractions. He would let me watch it with him, but he didn’t want to talk until a commercial. I would accommodate him best I could when the boys were small, trying to keep them quiet or sometimes leaving the house altogether so Jase could watch the game in peace. I learned quite early in our relationship that this LSU stuff was something to be taken very seriously! A few years ago, Jase and Willie watched an LSU football game together at one of our houses, and LSU lost. That was it. They haven’t watched a game together since.
Can anybody out there relate to this ridiculousness? I mean, these are grown men acting like this, for goodness’ sake! Well, guess what? It looks like I drank a little bit of the Kool-Aid myself. I am a die-hard LSU football and baseball fan myself now. Jase and I have a great time together watching these games, jumping and hollering at the TV and trying to translate what the “Mad Hatter” meant when questioned by the sideline reporter. Last season, Jase was coming in from being out of town, flew the door open and saw me sitting on the couch watching the LSU football game by myself. He said that was one of the greatest moments of his life, knowing that his wife had finally crossed over. Ha! He and the boys have always been big sports fans, and I guess a lot of that zeal has rubbed off on me. Jase has relaxed enough through the years where watching the game is not as stressful but has turned into a time of enjoyment together. Hey, he’ll even actually have people over to eat and watch the game with us (not Willie or any of his other brothers – let’s not get crazy). It’s fun. It’s exciting. There’s something about supporting your home team, especially when they’re good.
Isn’t it funny how someone else’s zeal and fervor for something can rub off on someone else? What you might find annoying, given some time and seeing that person’s deep commitment, can turn you into an avid fan yourself. You can’t help but jump on board when someone is so over-the-top on fire for something that’s real, something they believe in. See where I’m going with this? Paul says in the above scripture to not lose our spiritual fervor. How can we keep that fervor? How do we show our zeal, keeping it real for others around us to see? If we truly believe in our team, our Jesus, it’s not difficult. But sometimes, when our team lets us down, when they fumble or miss a field goal, we can be discouraged and start doubting our team. But that’s what’s so great about Jesus: he has never let us down, and he never will. People around us disappoint us all the time, almost daily. In fact, there are people who are quite consistent at that. How wonderful to know that there is one person, one team, that will NEVER let us down. Even when Jesus let himself be crucified, died and was buried in a stranger’s tomb, all of the disciples believed he had let them down. What happened to Team Jesus? He died. Game over.
But oh no, Jesus was not done. Matthew 28:5-7 says, “The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you to Galilee.’”
Jesus is alive right now in heaven calling all the plays. Now that is a team we can get behind! Where is your zeal? Where is your fervor? If you have it, show it! People around you won’t be able to NOT catch it.
Have a wonderful week!