As noted time and time again in my blog, I love college football. I am sad when it is over (although I think he bowl series is way too long and drawn out) and can’t wait for it to come back around every August. So yes, I have a bit of an obsession.
Why do I love college football? The reasons are vague and specific, meaningful and meaningless. I could tell you it’s because I grew up tailgating in the same spot from the time I could walk until long after I graduated from that very college. I could say it’s because my heart swells with pride over the pageantry of the band when they take the field. Or that I love it because when I’m in the stadium, I know I belong to a group, win or lose.
But this year as I spend possibly way too much time watching college football (is that even possible?) another reason came to mind.
I’m scared of everyday things, like spiders and roaches. I’m scared the pants I bought last year won’t fit this year because my body has morphed into some new, unrecognizable being every year since I turned 40. But those little things don’t get to me too much because bigger, more important things concern me too, like my husband travelling a lot and my daughter being away at college.
But these last couple of weeks I’ve added a few items to my list of things that I’m scared of, namely Ebola and ISIS. I’m not about to get off on my take on what’s going on with those two forces, at least not today. But when you turn on the news, look on the internet or heaven knows go old-school and whip open your newspaper you find some very, very scary things going on in the world.
So because of all the scary things happening around me I look forward to Saturdays this fall far more than I have in the past. This year the last day of the week represents a break, an escape from the heavy, scary things going on in this world and in our own country. I check out of worrying about whether Ebola is spread through the air or how many ISIS terrorists have crossed the border and I check in on the AP poll, the weekend match-ups and how my family’s 3 favorite teams are playing. (Yes, we live in a confused household. #WarHottyDawgs.) For 14 hours out of the 168 I get every week I can forget about the problems of the world and just have some dadgum fun.
It’s not that I walk around in all-out fear every day, but I do walk around with a southern momma bear’s sense that all is not right in the world, and it’s my job to protect my family from whatever lurks behind every dark, scary corner. It’s just a feeling that rides with me, kind of like a bug on your windshield that you’d like to flick off with your wipers but know you can’t turn them on or the mess will get bigger…
So I pray. A LOT. And God is faithful, providing a peace that takes over so I don’t hide under the covers every day but I get up, go out in the world and try my best to be who God intended me to be.
If you’re feeling a little panicky, a little scared with everything going on around you, first thing you gotta do is stop and pray. Take time to be still and feel God’s presence all around you.
Then find something you enjoy, something that can lift your mood way past the trouble this world offers. Go hiking (you won’t ever find me on a trail, FYI), go see a movie, grab lunch with a friend or spend a day watching a bunch of 20 year olds fight their way up and down a 100 yard football field.
We are not meant to live in fear, but to live victoriously. For no matter what happens here on this earth, it is temporary. Our ultimate prize waits for us in eternity with Jesus.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” (Psalm 34:4-6)
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