Just Win Baby! Commitment to Excellence! Black Hole! Any of these ring a bell? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me be more obvious: Raider Nation!!!!! Yep – that’s right – I’m a Raider fan! From Oakland to LA back to Oakland. I was born into a Raider family. I liken it to being born into a gang, you can try to get out, but it might cost you your life, and, in my case, would have really messed with birthdays and Christmas! Once a Raider, always a Raider! So my trusty boys in silver and black taught me a great life lesson this season and I’d like to share it with you now. You’re welcome.
My Oakland Raiders are currently in first place in the AFC West. Our most winning season since 2002. Yes fourteen years is a looooong stretch to hold out to root for a team that can actually represent on the grid iron. But as aforementioned, I’m a lifer. Not a band wagon fan. I bleed silver and black!! I live in Southern California so naturally I wanted to go to the Raider/Charger game coming up this weekend in San Diego. A few weeks ago I looked up ticket prices and literally fell out of my chair! Just shy of $200 per ticket in the worst seat in the stadium. WHAT!!!???? Out of curiosity I looked up tickets for the next Charger home game against some other random team and discovered that exact same seat was only $27. WOAH! I guess being in first place, and a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl does add value to the game. BAM! That’s when it hit me….major life lesson downloaded instantly.
You see….what “game” you are attending, the “team” you are rooting for, the “outcome” you are passionate about and cheering for – really does change the value of your seat in the game. Track with me here, it is the same exact seat, but one will cost you a whole lot more to attend. One is assigned way more value and will take more sacrifice on your end to be present. You will have the same view, the same vantage point, the same physical journey to get to that seat in the first place. In order to be a participant in the capacity filled stadium given more worth, it will cost you. It doesn’t really cost that much to participate in an event that is less desirable and mediocre in nature. But it costs significantly more to be engaged in something worth being passionate about. Finding your voice and screaming from the rooftops, or in this case the back row of section 44, row 26, that what you are investing your time and money and energy in has great value and worth. You need to be there. You wouldn’t miss it for the world.
In this life YOU choose what game you are playing in. Is it one that doesn’t really matter? That no one really cares about? Or one that everyone is talking about and wanting to know what is happening, every minute, play-by-play. One that brings a contagious passion, curiosity and fan base. One you can’t get enough of. You have to clap and yell and cheer and show everyone around you how loyal you are. To this cause. This movement. This journey toward transformation. This life of community. This family you’ve created. These friends who have your back. This God you worship. What game are you attending and what is it costing you to be in your seat?
Scripture reminds us
Where your treasure is, there your heart will follow.
Whatever it is you are investing your time, treasure and talents into….your heart will leap and shout in that direction. It will consume your time, your thoughts, your actions. You will find your voice there and use it to write your story because
Out of the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks!
So what is it you are investing in these days? What/who are you rooting for and doing whatever it takes to not miss a moment of the action? I challenge you to take a look at the things in your life that you assign value to. It’s not necessarily the seat you are given, assigned, or even worked toward investing in that is important….as much as who you are there to see, partner with, be surrounded by, spur on, embrace in moments of victory and commiserate together in moments of defeat. Make sure you are attending the game that matters! It’s a lot more fun in that stadium.
As for me….I certainly wish I was attending the big game this weekend…but I will watch gladly from my own couch at home. Screaming and hollering, knowing there is a huge life lesson ruminating in my heart to remind me to sacrificially invest into what and who matters to me. I don’t want to miss out on all that hype! It’s my voice. My story. My life. My team. My game! I may even paint my face silvery this Sunday!
Thank you God for football! And GO RAIDERS!!!