Fans Don’t Leave the Stands!

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Fans WilsonThis blog is not just about football. It’s about life. However, this lesson comes from a recent football experience. (Hang in there with me.)

If you’re a Seahawks or Packers fan, I know where you were from about noon to 3 p.m. last Sunday. You were watching the NFC championship game. For me, it was 57 minutes of torture. The Hawks were horrible. After the game, it was called one of “the ugliest, unlikeliest, and all-around most fantastic NFC championship games in recent memory.”

My wife walked in with about five minutes left in the game, and I told her the Seahawks’ season was over. Turn out the lights. Another dream dashed. Another previous Super Bowl team one and done.

If you missed it, here are the highlights (and lowlights): Russell Wilson threw four interceptions; there was an onside kick recovered off a guy’s head by a reserve wide receiver who has been cut by the Seahawks twice (who’s also never caught an NFL pass); and a punter threw a do-or-die fourth-down touchdown that shocked everybody.

The game was wacky, weird and ultimately wonderful (unless you’re a Packers fan).

Here’s what I noticed, some 12th man fans decided to leave the game early when the Seahawks were down 15 points with fewer than 3 minutes left in the game. They probably paid hundreds of dollars for seats inside the stadium. However, they ended up watching one of the most incredible fourth-quarter comebacks in NFL history from behind glass walls outside the stadium as the Hawks scored 15 points in the final 2:09 minutes of regulation play.

Moral of this story: True fans don’t leave the stands because true fans never give up.

Fans No Return

Sometimes we humans tend to be such fickle followers.

We cheer and root and wave the flag . . . until our heroes fail.

We scream in utter delight . . . until someone lets us down, and then we yell at him or her in disgust.

We’ll stay for 57 minutes, enduring the agony and the rain . . . until we give up, shake our heads and decide we’ve had enough.

I know, the majority of fans didn’t physically leave the stands, but I wonder how many of them emotionally gave up and lost faith.

American soccer fan scream at stadium

So what? What does this have to do with real life on planet Earth where football is just a game?

I wonder how many of us give up on a friend who’s failed us one too many times because we think he or she is hopeless?

I wonder how many give up on their marriage thinking, “It’s never going to change”?

I wonder how many of us give up on a pastor or a church when it seems they just can’t get it together, and we’ve grown tired of waiting?

The phrase What If written on a blackboard

But what if . . . . ?

What if that friend is just one more chance away from real life change?

What if your marriage is just one or two miracles away from a radical transformation?

What if your pastor or church has struggled for 57 minutes (or 57 weeks), and yet God is about to do something that only He can do, and it’s going to be awesome?

True friends don’t give up on friends. True spouses don’t walk away when it seems like it’s over. True parishioners don’t throw in the towel and trade “teams” when they’re hurting or disappointed.

True fans stay in the stands. True friends and spouses stay the course. True partners in a community of faith demonstrate the spiritual fruits of forbearance and faithfulness (Galatians 5:22).

Why?

Because God’s specialty is the miraculous! Read the Book. Apparently, He delights in taking situations and people who seem hopeless and throwing them a Hail Mary pass that wins the game.

Maybe it’s time to learn the art of stick-to-it-iveness and not to give up so easily? Maybe it’s time to go beyond being a conditional fan to becoming fanatical about faithfulness.

Happy group of diverse people, friends, family, team together

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged

because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him,

for there is a greater power with us than with him.”

2 Chronicles 32:7 (NIV)

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23 Responses to Fans Don’t Leave the Stands!

  1. Thanks. This made me cry. We really do give up too easily. I am so thankful God doesn’t give up on us as easily as we give up on others, ourselves and our community.

  2. Powerful reminder Pastor Kurt!! Reminds me of the immortal words of the late, great Jim Rohn’s feelings about people who give up too soon… “Who are these fans who leave before the game is over…” Thanks for reminding us of that oft forgotten “F” word… FAITHFULNESS!

  3. My thoughts exactly. I had the same thoughts when I heard about the fans who left. You don’t leave, you stick it thru. You wait and you wait…like they say it’s not over till the fat lady sings. You stick with friends, till they leave you and then you still stick there for when they need you. You stick with a spouse until they leave you and God finally releases you. You stick with your church until God tells you it is time to leave and then you make sure it is God and not your own desire to be somewhere else. The Holy Spirit will make it very clear to you if you just really listen, if you make yourself stop, listen and follow, even when it seems like it makes no sense. I’ve been there, in each of these places and the Holy Spirit has never let me down. WE have to wait till the game is over to see what the outcome is because if you don’t just like the fans that are outside you may miss the biggest and most exciting victory you may ever see.

    • Hi John, I haven’t been called “coach” in a long time! That being said, thanks for reading by ramblings and I’m glad you’re ready! Love ya brother.

  4. I had the same response in my heart too, & the fact that Russell is a Christian spoke volumes to me also. As I watched him cry & the countenance on his face, I sesnsed his response was more a realization that what had just happened was not accomplished in his own strength but with Gods intervention. His face reminded me of the many times I’ve faced something where it appeared like I was “toast”& then the Lord came thru & peas so very grateful….as evidenced by his first response “God is good all the time, every time. Then the Lord nudged me to read the reading for the day in Streams in the Desert for that day 1/18. 🙂

  5. Thank you Pastor Kurt. I definitely don’t want to be watching through glass walls when it really counts. Luckily God will let us back in the stadium if we ask.

  6. Maybe a few hundred left out of over 68,000 fans? I think now that those who left are thinking about their actions, and I will bet, regretting their decision. They decided on an action, and now will be living with the consequences of that action. There seems to be a life lesson there!!! God “Never fails, Never gives up, Never runs out on me” and I thank Him every day for that. We as humans make mistakes, and then have to live with the consequences of our actions. Thanks Kurt for reminding all of us that we should all take His actions as guides for our lives. Always.

  7. A great post as always and one we all need to hear. I wanted to share something my aunt shared on Facebook today which said: ” A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.”
    Although God blesses us when we serve others, He never said anything in His word about having to be paid to serve others
    It’s just what we do because it’s what He did.
    Blessings

  8. I’ve been told many times ” don’t leave before the miracle happens”. No words ring more true. My wife and I got married in 2004 to spend our lives together, just the two of us. Having the opinion of medical professionals that we would never have children , we were accepting but never stopped praying for a miracle .
    Our first son was born May of 2011, a healthy and happy little boy. Again, we never stopped praying. Our second child is due in March 2015. In just a few years we have a family.
    As for football and life…in the game of life there is nothing less important than the score at halftime.
    If God is your copilot you are sitting in the wrong seat , for me and my house God is the QB.
    Thanks Kurt ..

  9. Great analogy Kurt. It always bothers me when people up and leave the church when EVERYTHING does not go their way. See ya in April. Gary

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