Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tigers and Gators

Its college football season and I’m a big fan! Being a Louisiana native, I’ve always rooted for the Purple and Gold; The Louisiana State University Tigers.  My family and friends all know how passionate I am about the Tigers. For those of you that have worshiped on a Sunday at Bayside after a Tiger loss, all I can say is I’m sorry. I’ve heard of kids that warn their parents about my sermons when (on rare occasions) LSU loses.
This very public knowledge of my deep affection for LSU was the reason many became concerned when a few months ago, orange and blue started showing up at my house. University of Florida colors started cropping up, and even more alarming to some were the pictures on social media that clearly showed me donning UF gear. You must know that this was of grave concern to my mother, who bleeds purple and gold. If these pictures were true she was sure I was sick and in immediate need of a mental health professional. Or perhaps her son (that was practically brought home from the hospital as a baby in a LSU onesie) was the victim of some hoax, a joke, and cruel prank.  No son of hers would be caught wearing any other colors, than that of the Bayou Bengals, right? Even some of my friends seemed puzzled.

So folks are looking for answers. Or as Ricky Ricardo would say on the “I Love Lucy Show,” I’ve got some splainin’ to do.  As several of you know my oldest daughter is a college freshman at the University of Florida.  And this has had a strange effect on me, in terms of team allegiance.  Now I will always be a Tigers fan, and I still am the most passionate about LSU football. But I began to notice about 6 months ago a strange warming to the Gators. As I saw the desire in her to go to UF, and then to eventually get accepted there, to now living in Gainesville a fondness rapidly began to grow. Now it was a process. It took me a few months to get the nerve to buy an orange and blue shirt. It took me a few more months before I could actually wear it. But now it’s good. And certainly after we started paying tuition payments it got really easy! Chomp!

Jesus once said that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Our heart follows our treasure, and our treasure follows our heart. This is true when it comes to giving financially to the church. If we love the Kingdom of God, if our heart is to advance the Kingdom’s cause, if our heart is to see more people become more like Jesus, then our deposits will follow our heart. We will tithe and make giving to the church a priority. The connection between treasure and heart is also the reason why those that invest deeply in the church love the church so deeply.

This principle is illustrated in my new affection for UF. A person I treasure dearly is there (my daughter) so my heart follows. My support follows my heart. So now I have two college teams. I’m still passionate about the Tigers, but now I publicly support the Gators as well. What you might want to know is, what about when they play each other. Mom will be happy about this… Geaux Tigers!

“Lord, you have designed us so that our affections follow our treasures. And you have blessed us with an ability to invest in things that matter to us. So please help us to invest wisely, in people, in your Kingdom and in our church family. Ultimately, it’s your church that we want to cheer on and empower to win. Amen” 

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