Monday, October 8, 2012

an aside from photography.

Most of you know that I attended North Carolina State University. I would venture to say that I loved every minute of college and I inevitably became a Wolfpack fan. I grew up playing sports and still enjoy watching sports, so I went to many football and basketball games over my time spent there. I would consider myself the average fan - loving the social aspect of the day, wanting to win, but able to move on with life rather quickly independent from winning or losing games. 

Over the past few years, I've attended a football game here and there when a sweet friend offers an extra ticket, but that's about it. Photography takes up most of my weekend "free" time, and I'm okay with that. This year has been no different, but I was given the opportunity to go to the game this past Saturday. State was scheduled to play Florida State at 8pm and a good friend invited me to go. For those of you who watched, or have read about it since then, State pulled out a huge win against the #3 ranked team in the nation. We were down at halftime, but really, I was just grateful that we weren't getting killed and that the game still seemed enjoyable. Something happened in the second if the boys were really there to play. The defense made some crucial stops and the offense executed on some tough plays. The score was 10-16 and all we needed was a touchdown and extra point to pull off this upset. But even with all of the progress we were making, there was still an intense mix of emotions. One moment I'm screaming at the top of my lungs in celebration, and the next I'm sitting down, defeated, with my face in my hands. After all of the ups and downs, we actually scored with 16 seconds left in the game to take the lead 17-16. In that moment, I was literally jumping up and down, screaming, high-fiving and hugging people that I didn't even know. And at the time it seemed completely normal. 

But is it normal to hug a complete stranger? And high-five every single person that's within an arm's reach? It's a bit awkward to think about outside of this crazy football game scenario. And as I went home that night and even had a sore throat and lack of a voice the next day, it got me thinking. Why was I that excited? In the grand scheme of things, I don't even really care if we win or lose. It doesn't really affect my everyday life. But there I was, celebrating like a crazy person, just like everyone else in the entire stadium! Before I even went to the game, I didn't have an extreme passion for NC State Football. But as I left, all I could talk about was the game and what had happened.

In my wondering and pondering, the Lord opened my mind to a thought. Before the game - no passion. After the game - passion. But why? Was it because I just all of a sudden decided that I was obsessed with football and red and white and wolves? I don't think so. I think maybe it was because I was surrounded by a group of people who were there with the same goal in mind. And as we watched what happened over the course of almost 4 hours, we shared in the same highs and lows and mix of emotions. And even though we didn't know each other well (or even at all), we had experienced something together. And their passion became my passion. Even though I wasn't passionate before. And when we watched our unified goal actually happen, the only choice we had was to celebrate. Our only reaction was excitement and cheer and praise! If I pictured myself as the only person in the stadium watching that exact same game, would I have had the same reaction that I did on Saturday? I don't think so. Would I be excited for the win? Sure. But would I have been jumping up and down freaking out? Probably not. Because there wouldn't have been others completely surrounding me with their passion to win. And I would have had no one to share it with.

Isn't this the same reason that we need the Church and Christian community? It wasn't a coincidence that as I was processing through these thoughts, my pastor spoke on the topic of "Who Needs the Church?" on Sunday. We need the church! And we need more passion. We need to be surrounded by others who have the same goal in mind. We need to walk through life together with people who we can share our highs and our lows. We need to watch and be encouraged by God's work in our own lives and also in the lives of others. We need for others' passion for the Lord to wear off on us. The battle has been won! And we need to be reminded! Doesn't passion come from being part of a bigger story and a bigger mission? Don't try to do it alone. There will be times when we feel defeated with our face in our hands. And times of complete celebration. But we need each other. And the experience of walking through life with others empowers us to react to life's circumstances with excitement and cheer and praise for the One who we know can accomplish all things. 

God never meant for us to walk alone. Go find a church that loves God and the gospel. Serve the church. Share life with people in the church. Gain some passion. For something bigger than NC State football.

Go gather together with others and become unified on greater and mightier goals than winning football games. 


sarah.payne said...

go pack. go God. go you! great post! love, ellis and sarah

Pam said...

Oh my Katherine! How right and true you are! We all need to have more passion in our lives for what truly matters, our GOD! Thank you for this reminder. I love you!

Brittany West said...

I really love this post and laughed out to myself picturing the stadium scenario! What a great reminder, friend!