I am a big Texas Longhorns football fan. I won’t say I’m a huge Texas Longhorns football fan, because I have to leave room for some people I know who are most definitely bigger fans than I am. They purchase season tickets, sell their children on the black market to get their hands on post-season tickets, and everything they own has a little Longhorns insignia on it somewhere (including underwear, but don’t ask to see, because they will show you). No, I’m not that much of a fan, but I cheer for my Horns no matter what. So, I have been quite disturbed over the last several weeks at seeing the number of people who are now throwing my favorite football team under the bus, simply because they’ve lost a few games.
People are accustomed to seeing the Longhorns win – they hold the record for being in the Top 25 every week for the last 10 years. That’s quite amazing! So when they started having a rough season by losing to un-ranked UCLA at home, people started mouthing off about them. Then they lost to Oklahoma, and people started saying that they might actually have a non-winning season. Their next game after that was against Nebraska, then #5 in the nation. People just knew that our season was over. But it wasn’t – we beat Nebraska on their home turf. People started jumping on the Texas bandwagon again. But, last week, we lost to an un-ranked Iowa State. At home. All over Facebook, people commented that Texas had embarrassed them. Them? How had the team embarrassed them? I was outraged! Sure, I wasn’t happy about my team losing to a team they had never lost to before, but I didn’t completely throw my Horns out the window either. I decided after all of this, that one of my least favorite things in this world is a fair-weather Longhorns fan.
Now, something I am not a big fan of is baseball. I really don’t have a good reason as to why I’m not a fan – I think the game is slow and boring. Of course, I love watching tennis, which some people would say is monotonous, but I don’t see it that way. Baseball, on the other hand, is boring to watch (in my opinion). But lately I have seen a huge surge in the number of baseball fans around me. In case you didn’t know, the Texas Rangers recently beat the New York Yankees to win the American League championship, and are heading to the World Series. People around here (I live in Texas…) are ecstatic. You’d think everyone you came across was a baseball fan, had always been a baseball fan, and had always been a huge fan of the Rangers. I’ll admit – I even kind of want to jump in and start watching the World Series to see if the Rangers can pull it off.
That said, I still recognize that most of these people are only fair-weather fans. They never really watch the Rangers play. They don’t own any Rangers merchandise. And they probably couldn’t name a single Rangers player (other than maybe Josh Hamilton). They’re just riding the coat tails of the Rangers. They’re using the Ranger’s success to make themselves feel good. And to me, that’s a little sad.
But when I think about it, I realize that I do this same thing. Sure, I did admit that I wanted to watch the Rangers play in the World Series, and I admit that I’m probably a part of the group that is only going to be pulling for the Rangers because they are successful and because everyone else around me is pulling for them. I admit that if they lose the Series, I probably won’t keep up my temporary fan-dom. But I’m talking about being a fair-weather fanatic in another area – spiritually.
I had the thought this morning, as I drove to work and listened on the radio to the person talk about how everyone loves the Rangers, that I truly despise fair-weather fans. But then I thought about the fact that I probably look like a fair-weather fan to God. Jesus called His people to be more than just followers – He asked us to be fanatics. He wants people to follow Him that are willing to pay a great price – even death. In Luke 9:23, Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Some people say that “taking up your cross” just means dedicating your life to Him. But the people of that day would have recognized the cross as a method of torture and death. I think they would have heard Jesus saying, “If you want to be my follower, you must be willing to undergo torture and even death.” If you ask me, anyone willing to die for a cause is most definitely a fanatic.
So how am I a fair-weather fanatic in God’s eyes? Just like these fair-weather Longhorns fans, and fair-weather Rangers fans, I tend to jump on God’s bandwagon whenever things are good. Whenever He appears to be winning, I’m a part of His team. At church, where almost everyone believes the way I do and God is being worshiped, I’m a great God fan. At work, where no one that I know of is a Christian, I’m quiet about my faith.
I’m hot, then I’m cold.
I’m yes, then I’m no.
I’m in, them I’m out.
I’m up, then I’m down.
Yep. I just used a Katy Perry song to describe my faith. And as light as I seem to be making this, I realize that God doesn’t take lukewarm-ness lightly. His words:
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)
Please, Lord, don’t spit me out. I know I’m a fair-weather fan, but I’m learning that I can trust you in the valley, just as I did on the mountain top. Don’t give up on me.