By Vicki Scott
Our pastor at First Baptist Reeltown began his sermon this past Sunday with, “Do you shout and raise your hands for Jesus as much as you do for football games?”
That’s an easy question for me to answer, as I do not spend as much effort in cheering for football as I used to. Some might say that is because I’m an Auburn fan and I’m tired of losing. Others might say it is because other things matter more.
My eyes were recently opened to a painful truth contained in the above sermon. While others were watching college football games last Saturday, my husband Alan and I were at an all-day softball tournament in Millbrook. Our oldest grandchild, Sweet Ava Jaymes, was playing. We tailgated in canopy tents around the field as if there was a football game. Many kids trick-or-treated between games, which was so much fun for a people watcher like me.
Ava’s team played four games, winning three of them. Her team played better than it had all season, and it’s hard to keep in mind that those girls are only eight years old. They have so many fans, and I never realized how important that was until the time that I saw Ava looking for someone in the stands.
Her mother, who is my daughter Eva, later told us that Ava notices who is not at her games. That tugged on my heart. For my part, I’ve tried to cheer for every player on Ava’s team as if I was the only one cheering for them. At one of the games, a child in the stands asked me what player I was there for. That made me smile and made me want to cheer some more!
I cannot pinpoint exactly when this painful truth hit me. It could have been when Ava made her third double play of the game or perhaps when the player after Ava hit the ball into “no man’s land,” or rightfield. It could have been when one of the players hit a hard line drive that Ava caught it as if it was nothing. It did not help when one of the coaches complimented me on my cheering skills and made my head swell with pride. There were so many times when I jumped up out of my chair shouting praises. I was feeling no pain at that point. I was still hyped up from the game when we went to bed around 11 p.m.
The morning after was a different matter, as the pain in my neck and back was excruciating.
I remembered the day before and considered that I may have never screamed and cheered for Jesus in such fashion, and the painful truth became clear – I’ve never hurt this bad while praising Jesus. I pray He can forgive me.
Jesus has done so many things more exciting than anything that happens at a ball game. My praises go to Him for all my blessings and opportunities. I pray that it’s okay if I do my best to let His light shine through me instead of hurting myself again. It is all a work in progress, of course.
Stay safe, y’all, and please do not hurt yourselves!
Vicki Scott may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.