My friend Jan is the ultimate high school football fan. I’ve know this for awhile, but yesterday I got to see her – and the other Midland High Bulldog parents – in action. The Bulldogs are in the playoffs, so I went to show my support for Jan’s son Clint and a few of the other young men in our youth group who play for the Dawgs. I had a blast!
The game began at noon. Jan arrived at the stadium at 9:45am to get seats in the lower section on the 50 yard line. She suggested I bring ear plugs in case the cheering, jugs full of rocks, and cow bells got to be too much for my delicate ears. But, Jan forgot to warn me to wear my most comfortable shoes. The Bulldog parents do not sit down during the game except for time outs and half-time.
The Bulldogs’ parents are fanatics by definition. I mean this in a positive, complementary way. A “fanatic” is “a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics” (or West Texas football). These Bulldog fanatics are not ashamed of their Dawgs. Their enthusiasm shows in their actions, their speech, and their attire. Yesterday I saw painted faces, purple shoes, purple sun glasses, and purple purses. Jan even has purple highlights in her hair for football season. Now that’s a 24/7 commitment to the team!
She and many of the other parents have been cheering, encouraging, and supporting their sons since they first stepped on the football field many years ago. Their attitudes and actions clearly show their love for their sons and their devotion to the team. They willingly travel great distances and sit out in inclement weather to show their support.
Yesterday’s experience got me thinking. I should be that enthusiastic about Jesus. In fact, I should be a fanatic. (By the way, my friend Jan is also fanatical about Jesus. She is absolutely crazy about Him!) Jesus calls us all to be fanatical about Him. To have an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm and zeal for our Lord. Consider these words of Jesus:
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26
True Christianity necessitates fanaticism. If no one ever calls me a fanatic then I’m not following Jesus like I should be. The Apostle Paul definitely was a Jesus fanatic. Consider a few of his statements:
- For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil 1:21)
- For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. (Romans 1:16)
- I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. (Philippians 3:8a)
Are you a Jesus fanatic? Are you willing to be a fool for Christ? Let’s talk about what this should look like in our lives?
For more about following Jesus check out these earlier blogs: