For as long as I can remember, I have been a big fan of sports.
One of my earliest memories was watching the 1992 Kentucky vs. Duke basketball game as an 8-year-old with my dad. Of course, that was my earliest memory of heartbreak in sports as Christian Laettner made his infamous last-second shot to defeat my beloved Wildcats.
And my sports fandom isn’t just limited to the Big Blue.
In professional sports, I have become a big fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals. I also enjoy checking out our local high school and college teams play whenever I’m not toiling away here in the Times-Tribune newsroom.
For the most part, I usually cheer on my teams from the comfort of my own home. Cincinnati is about 2.5 hours away from Corbin. And it seems like it is nearly impossible to get tickets for Kentucky Basketball since John Calipari has become the head coach.
But every now and then, I get the opportunity to be part of the crowd and experience a game live.
Being part of the crowd is usually a lot of fun as you are surrounded by thousands of folks who are all cheering along for your favorite team.
I am usually a shy guy when it comes to talking to random people, but you do get the chance to chat and form a bond with those who are sitting around you.
At any rate, you have a crew of people surrounding you to high-five after a big touchdown, slam dunk or home run.
However, we sports fans have all had those games where we get seated next to fans who take it too far.
Maybe they get too emotional and scream out obscenities the whole time.
Maybe they get too drunk and proceed to spill their $8 beer in your lap.
Or, maybe they get too close and you realize they forgot to wear deodorant.
Regardless, we have all had those experiences when we wish we could have been seated anywhere in the stadium except in those particular seats.
But as much as we were annoyed by those rowdy fans, we still chose to cheer on our same teams and attend games whenever we get the chance.
What if that was how we felt about church or our passion for worshipping God?
So often I hear people saying they went to church one time but someone from the congregation rubbed them the wrong way. Or maybe they didn’t like hearing what the preacher was saying that morning.
They then use that as an excuse to not go to church or have a relationship with Jesus.
They aren’t like the sports fans who still continue to cheer and support their team even though they may have run into a poor representative of a team’s fanbase.
They are simply making an excuse.
It’s important for us as Christians to realize our relationship with God is more important than a random interaction with someone at a church.
If you didn’t like something a church member or preacher said, perhaps you could find another church. There are several right here in Corbin and I’m sure that’s the same for most communities.
And furthermore, if you didn’t like something a church member or preacher said, maybe there is something in your Christian walk that you need to change.
Psalms 34:1-2 says “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.”
Just like the way we always stay true to our teams, we should always stay true to the one who is above all — our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit his blog at hallthingsconsidered.blogspot.com