West Virginia University and the University of Maryland play football today at 3:00 in a sold out stadium in Morgantown. It’s a Gold Rush game meaning everyone is supposed to wear gold. And lots of people from our area will be at the game cheering for the Mountaineers. A few of them will have mixed emotions about the game. And a few Mountaineer fans may even find themselves rooting for Maryland.
As most people in our area know, one of the young men from our community and more specifically from our church will be on the sidelines for Maryland. Gage Shaffer was given a scholarship to play quarterback at Maryland and is a freshman on the team. It was and is quite an honor. He probably won’t play this year so he will still keep four years of eligibility, but travels with the team and in uniform.
Most of his family will be at the game today. Some of them were warned not to wear red or they might get beer thrown on them. That’s probably good advice. But you can understand their situation. Gage’s mom is a WVU alum! Doesn’t she have to be for the team her son is playing for? Since Gage won’t be playing this year, the rest of his friends, and probably some of his family won’t have any trouble rooting for WVU. This is seriously the picture his grandma put on Facebook of the cookies she made for their tailgating today.
This could easily be a parable of our lives as followers of Jesus. We’ve been in this world so long and have an affinity for the world. As Americans, we have grown to love Old Glory, vacations, fishing, golfing, coffee, football, shopping, air conditioning, and soft pillows. We love automobiles, iphones, television, and Chic-Fil-A.
And on the other hand, our citizenship is not here. We are citizens of the Kingdom of God, only here for a while. And the freedoms and luxuries of this world sometimes conflict with God’s instructions as His citizens. We have mixed allegiances. Sometimes the world beckons with Sunday morning youth football. And God beckons us to Sunday morning worship instead. Sometimes the world beckons with 150 channels on the television or a new car with a hefty payment. And instead of a car payment or $200 cable bill, God beckons us to sponsor a child through Compassion International, to tithe to the church, or to pay for digging water wells in a third world country.
Keep in mind, I’m not judging you about football, church, or finances. I’m right there with you, facing my own struggles with my time and my finances. All I’m doing today, is reminding you and myself that every day there are choices to be made and allegiances to be decided as followers of Jesus.
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve……But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” ~ Joshua 24:15