I live in the South where college football is practically a Religion for a lot of folks. People look forward to Saturdays where the tailgating and trash talking leads up to a battle on the field, and if your team wins, then you’re going to have bragging rights in the office on Monday!
Now, there are all kinds of Life Metaphors you could draw from sports, but something happened with my kids at a game last years that changed my perspective. We were living in Florida at the time and some good folks at our church had given us tickets to the Florida Gators game agains the Kentucky Wildcats. Since I’m a Kentucky grad, they knew I’d be interested in the tickets, and even though UK is more of a “Basketball School,” I still cheer for my Wildcats all football season long (even when they’re getting beat by every other team in the SEC)!
This was a big family moment for us, because our two young sons had never been to a College Football game. We let them pick out whatever they wanted to wear, and because their team loyalty hadn’t really set in yet, they chose an outfit that really confused me. They wanted to wear a Kentucky Jersey and a Florida Gator hat. They wanted to cheer for both Teams.
I didn’t take the time to explain to them that this was crazy, because we were already running late. Once we got to “The Swamp” in Gainesville, Florida and started weaving our way through drunk college students to get to the stadium, people started noticing my kids’ creative wardrobe choice and then looked at me like I was committing some form of child abuse! Few things will confuse an intoxicated football fan like seeing somebody cheering for both teams at the same game.
As the the night went on, and my boys saw that everybody there was cheering for one team or the other, I used it as a teaching moment to explain that in life, we need to know which team we’re on!
In the scope of eternity, which team you like on Saturdays won’t make that much of a difference, but when it comes to our allegiance to Christ, we have to be all in. The World needs to know that we’re with Jesus. We can’t wear a jersey that says “I’m for Jesus” but then wear a hat that shouts “I’m following the World!’
We’ve got to be consistent. We can’t be on “Team Jesus” on Sundays, but then follow the World’s value system the rest of the week. That kind of division only confuses the people around us and causes to live with a Schizophrenic sense of Loyalty. Over and over in Scripture, Jesus invites us to be on HIs Team, but He cautions that it means letting go of all allegiance to the World.
It’s a choice that we all must make and in the end, it will have eternal significance. Live your life in such a way, that when you step from this life into Eternity, Jesus embraces you and tells His Father…”This one is on My Team!”