Confessions of an Auburn fan
For those who are not aware, I was born, raised and live in a state where football is a god. There is little doubt of the magnitude of that statement.
The two largest universities have rich traditions in football and in the past three years alone, Alabama went 12-2 and 14-0 and Auburn is 12-0 this year; plus a Heisman trophy winner last year and apparently one this year.
I have been an Auburn fan all my life. I don't know why especially when most in my family where Alabama fans. I was once as passionate about football as any because I simply lived in the state of Alabama.
But these past few years has not been good for the state of Alabama. As a pastor, I have witnessed first hand how attendance and offerings would be negatively affected the Sunday after a football loss. The bitterness and wrath between the two schools has only grown more in depth. The "talk" around this state with its history, last three seasons and then the Cam Newton situation has been nauseating.
As Auburn plays for the SEC Championship today, I will watch it. I hope they win and that Cam Newton has a great game, but let me make these confessions:
1. My sustaining joy has not changed this year even though Auburn has won. I had to come to place several years ago that if football changed my joy; then it had to big of a hold over me.
2. I believe the best thing that could happen to the spiritual condition of the state of Alabama is for both teams to go 0-11 and tie in their game. (I actually said that publicly last Sunday in my message). Pride, arrogance, bitterness, wrath, anger and division do not make for a healthy spiritual lives and churches.
3. I would gladly give up (remember I am an Auburn fan) the undefeated season for our churches to experience the genuine presence and touch of God.
You see, I believe if a person can act one way on Saturday and then another on Sunday; there is an idol in their life. Don't misunderstand me - I DO NOT WANT OUR CHURCHES TO BECOME FOOTBALL GAMES. Our churches have something FAR BETTER, EXTREMELY BETTER than any football game can ever offer even if it is an undefeated and championship season.
The presence of God manifested through the Holy Spirit is "better than life." And oh, I hunger for it. EVERY SUNDAY!! EVERYDAY!!! Not just ever-once-and-awhile. If Nick Saban can "preach" to his players the importance of "every play, every down in every practice and every game" to do to the best of your ability - how much more the church of the living God.
So, Auburn and football is secondary, if even that. I want to enjoy God and His presence more than anything else. "Nobody has done me like Jesus!!" I look forward to worshipping Him today, tomorrow and everyday - if Auburn wins or loses. It don't matter. My joy will not change. Just give me Jesus!!! and His Spirit!!!!