Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Football Fan Faith

At least twice that I can remember, and possibly more, I have heard the example used that we should get as excited about our faith and sharing our faith as we do when we watch a sporting event.  I mean, after all, isn't what Jesus did for us more exciting than a sporting event?

Here's the problem with that analogy:  it only makes sense to sports fans.

I am somewhat of a sports fan.  I attend, watch, or listen to 10-12 football games each fall of a college team to which I am connected (But if you ask me to pick professional teams, I will.  For the NFL it's the New England Patriots and for MLB it is the Boston Red Sox).  I rarely, if ever, watch any games on television (except the Super Bowl).  I would much rather read or spend time chatting with friends online.  In fact, I rarely watch any television at all anymore.

And I don't get so excited to jump up and down about my faith.

I wonder why athletics are used in this example so often.  Is it because we live in a culture that idolizes sports and athletes?  Probably.  Is it because I usually hear this example from men, and they are the ones who play football?  Maybe.

So what is a good example for those of us who do not relate to this idea?  What about those of us who like to dream about, contemplate, and quietly share what our faith in Jesus means?

Maybe, for some, it is more like watching a ballet performance.  It would be out of place to jump up and down and scream when the ballerina does something extraordinary.  Instead, a person watches in awe, amazed at what she can do, and how easy and effortless she makes it look.

This experience isn't any less real and valuable than the person who gets excited at a sporting event.  It's just different.  We are all created in our own unique ways with our own personalities, interests, abilities, and everything else that makes up who we are.  Some people are drawn more to a liturgical style of church, some to a "contemporary" style of church, some to a small-group style of church, and we can't all be expected to fit into one style.

The same is true for sharing our faith.  

I used to feel somewhat guilty that I didn't get as excited about it as I would at a game, but I don't feel that way anymore.  It's not me.  And that is ok!  God didn't create me to be that way, and I trust that God knows what He is doing.

So if you are someone who likes to exuberantly share your faith the way you would cheer at a football game, great!  If you are someone who likes to quietly share your faith the way you would appreciate a ballet performance, great!  You are sharing what is important to you (but don't be a jerk about it, okay?).  There's no one right way to share faith, because faith is personal to each one of us.

No comments: