Lord, you know

Published 3:00 pm Sunday, October 16, 2022

Allow me to share some of my history in the world of college football. It comes with having your son’s name on the game roster.

We rose early Saturday morning to get to campus early — to get a glimpse of the celebrities on Game Day. Excitement flooded the campus. I reflect now that I don’t always rise early on Sundays in anticipation of worshiping the King of Kings — a Being that far surpasses or out-rivals any other.

Even with our early arrival, we had to park over a mile from campus. Would I ever attend a worship service that didn’t have easy access? It caused me to think.

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The Grove was insanely congested. Friends and relatives congregated under tents for pre-game visiting, eating, drinking and fellowship. The atmosphere was festive. I passed table after table of crowded palate favorites.  Some were delicately detailed and decorated. The servings were mega-size. I thought of church fellowships I have attended. Few were ever congested, and I didn’t ever carry my part in a wagon or have the need of an entire family to haul food for long distances. My heart was not in the church fellowships like it was in the Grove. I was convicted.

Hospitality was at a premium throughout the Grove. Strangers, distant acquaintances and passersby shared food and drink. The adjacent tent to our host tent shared their TV when ours had connection problems. Another tent neighbor stepped into our group with a bowl of candy and offered it to the children. Game day blinded us to color and judging. Backgrounds weren’t relevant; acceptance and friendship ruled. The body of Christ should put to shame the hospitality and acceptance I witnessed in the Grove. I’m part of the reason it doesn’t. I confess my guilt.

Masses filled the stadium long before game time. Will I ever see that enthusiasm of believers thronging sanctuaries? I long to, but am I willing to invest more time in praying — even fasting? The Lord knows.

Everyone stood! Most were screaming and joining cheers and break-out songs. I’ve complained about poor seating in churches, and I probably would complain if I had to stand for a 45 minute worship service. Does my Sunday passion match my Saturday game day passion? I was convicted.

The standing stadium crowd was a sea of blue and navy. It was a great response from the media memo that announced the game day color. I wore navy because I wanted to be a team player. Am I always that willing to be a team player for the Kingdom? Do I always dress in a way that would cause anyone to wonder if I’m a Christ-follower? Does that thought ever enter my mind? The Lord knows.

We beat our fearsome opponent and went home celebrating our hard fought victory, our talented coaches and the ability to enjoy a sport that can have positive impacts on the players and its fans. Still, it was in the context of the temporal. Even as a sports fan, I must never let the temporal outweigh the spiritual. There is no comparison between the two. Lord, You know. Please help me to know.

Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602.