It is no surprise to anyone that knows me but I am a huge Tennessee fan. More often than not I am wearing something that has orange on it and someone will always point out that I wear orange every single day.
It is also not really a secret that right now, Tennessee really isn’t that great at football.
Tennessee Football, which is suppose to be an outstanding program, hasn’t had a winning season since 2007 and has a 20-26 win-lose record since that season. One of those loses coming at the hands of Kentucky. A lose that ended a 26 year old win streak for UT.
My favorite pro team is of course the Tennessee Titans. Who have not really had an outstanding season since the likes of Steve McNair, Eddie George, Kevin Dyson, and Blaine Bishop were on the field. There was that one 11-0 start but let’s be honest. That may have just been a fluke because they started the next season 0-6.
Now, you may be thinking...why on earth are you just sharing facts about how bad these teams are...
What does this have anything to do about church?
Well, it’s the south...so everything can relate to football, right?
Many times in our lives as Christians, we are faced with challenges and difficult decisions. We have obstacles set in our way and they make it difficult for us.
It can be any number of things that burden us. You may experience a death in the family, or you may have had a falling out with a friend. Someone close to you may be sick and you are worried for them. School may really be kicking your butt right now and you are really worried about your grades. Or maybe you just aren’t happy with something in your life and you feel far from God.
Now over these past few years, I have never strayed from my fandom towards my Tennessee teams. I have rejoiced during the glorious upsets and may have shed a few tears during the lows. I have laughed at some situations because I didn’t know how else to respond and I have become so angry that I have had to close the window so my neighbors couldn’t hear me yelling at the TV.
Some may be thinking, that’s a little cray cray. Also a lot of you are probably thinking, yup, I know what you mean.
Being a die hard fan for a team is not easy. You have to endure the ups and downs, the bad trades, and the guarantee draft pick that will turn your team around that ends up being a complete bust. You see the program be built up, torn apart, rebuilt, suffer injuries, coaches come and go, but in the end, you remember that history and stay loyal to that team.
It is hard to be a fan. It is also hard to be a Christian.
In our lives we have our ups and downs. We have those times that we have everything together and things are going great. Then something happens and we feel completely broken. We build ourselves back up. Things happen in our lives that hurt us and leave scars. We forgive and move on but we don’t forget the lessons we learn. We may have one person that you look up to for years and years and even if they are not there anymore you can still think back to the lessons they taught you. You can be hurt so bad that you want to turn away from God because you don’t understand why! Why would, why could this happen!?
In my life I have learned that, yes, sometimes bad things may happen to me but does that mean give up?
I look back and rejoice. I am who I am today because of what has happened in my life. The good and the bad. The ups and the downs. They make up the story of my life. They make me who I am. We are called to love ourselves. The good and the bad. The good decisions and the mistakes.
Even if you don’t see it in the moment or are not even looking for it, God has not and will not give up on you. God will always be searching and trying to stay with you through thick and thin. God is loyal to you because you were created in God’s image. You were God’s favorite creation. God loves you and will always stand by your side. God is you loyal die hard fan.
If we can have so much love for a sports team that not only gives us reason to celebrate but also hurts us, why can we have that same relationship with God? Why is it easier to turn our backs to God than it is to a football team?