I was dressed in my team jersey, a plate of essential Super bowl food on my lap and a heart filled with faith that my team would win. With each touchdown, interception and blocked pass, I jumped up and cheered for the athletes who would bring home the trophy! That day, I looked like any devoted fan. I had all of the necessary accouterments and passion to spare. The truth is, I had only watched three games that season…the games leading up to the Superbowl. The truth is, I had purchased a shirt the day before the game. The truth is, I am a fair-weather fan. Only those closest to me knew my secret. To everyone else, I appeared to be die-hard. It was only when the stakes were high that my interest was piqued.
I’ve done the same thing in my relationship with God. Life is busy. I coast along, occasionally opening my bible. I read a passage, distracted by sounds and activity around me. I pray when I think of it, maybe as I work in the yard or after I crawl in bed after a busy day, and I fall asleep before I’ve said “amen”. I rely on attendance at church to boost my confidence in my relationship status with God.
Then a crisis occurs. It doesn’t have to be a big crisis…anything that is surprising or inconvenient. I fall on my knees in prayer. I search my bible for answers. The crisis passes. God is good. The cycle begins again and I’m back to being a fair or, more accurately, foul weather devotee of God.
The difference between faith and football is that I’m not fooling God. He knows my heart. He knows that my devotion is sometimes dependent on circumstances. His Word says that when we draw near to Him we will receive grace and mercy in our time of need. Drawing near is a daily commitment of acknowledging His presence in my life…talking to Him moment by moment and reading His Word. It’s not for Him that I do those things, it’s His gift to me. It’s a gift that I receive over and over, day after day. I have free and total access to the Almighty. In a world where important people are protected and shielded from the “peasants”, it is amazing that the God of the universe will meet with me personally, whenever I choose…He waits for me…interested…loving me even when I’m distracted from Him.
1 John 2:28 – And now, little children, abide in him so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.