Last Saturday, I went to the Nebraska-New Mexico State football game. I biked on to campus about four hours early to run some errands and pick up my ticket, which I bought from my cousin for $21. I watched the end of the California-Maryland game and most of the Virginia Tech game, more as a scouting venture than anything else. Six o’clock finally rolled around and I made my way to the student section of Memorial Stadium.
I had been to the spring game the past three year, since students can enter for free with their Ncard, but this clash of football programs was nothing like the shows the Spring games always are. The Huskers came out onto the field after their tradition-rich tunnel walk, which put chills down my spine, and the game started. The entire student section stood for the whole game and made noise during every defensive series. The only time we sat down was during halftime and any timeouts that were called. I stood and shouted along with the rest of them and pretty much lost my already embattled voice midway through the second quarter.
At halftime, I tried to hail the Valentino’s pizza vendor so I could have a little supper before the rest of the game, but I couldn’t get any words to come out. In the third quarter, I looked on screaming loudly as a defense grew up and stopped a potent offense that was camped in the red zone for way too long (bad calls, penalties etc). The crowd, myself included, cheered louder than we’d ever cheered before during that goalline stand and the defense fed off of it, to be sure.
The whole rest of the game, I stood and yelled, getting excited about what was happening on the field below me. I participated in a wave during one of the timeouts that traveled around the stadium five times and was only stopped by the resumption of play. We made noise down to the last play with two seconds left when the game was already well in hand because we supported our team.
As I was biking home from campus on Monday night, I thought more about what I had done and was challenged by it. I made noise and was willing to risk losing my voice (something I would need in order to sing the next day) for a football game that really means little in the grand scheme of things, yet when I go out to walk and worship the Creator of all things, the One to whom all praise is due, I’m not bold enough to let people I meet along the way hear what I’m singing. Has the individuality and personal-ness of my relationship with God become an excuse to shrink back and only live my Christian life in a closet? As much as it is personal and between God and I, the world needs to see a God who is real and people bold enough to show Him to them.
“I know a battle is a hard thing to face, especially before breakfast!”