Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Reluctant Husker Fan

This morning, Dave and I were at the Dillon's Supermarket several blocks from their Wichita home. Sally has some things she needed for Dave to pick up, a common occurrence with family in town for the holidays. Both Dave and I are coffee drinkers so it made sense to get our morning caffeine from the Starbucks inside the store. Dave paid for mine, a bonus! As we were preparing to pick up our drinks, a young man walked by us wearing a Nebraska football sweatshirt. Dave, similarly outfitted, cheerily called out, "GO HUSKERS!" The young man dropped his eyes, mumbled something, and sped his gait up. Dave told me he thought the stranger was probably embarrassed. How could you be ashamed of the Cornhuskers? At least Dave didn't shout GO BIG RED

I have to tell you that many people from our home state tend to see the whole state as a fraternity/sorority, that there is an almost automatic kinship with any other human we perceive as having Nebraska roots. I light up when I see a car with Nebraska license plates or bumper stickers. There is just a connection that is hard to explain. That's why Dave called out in the store. On the other hand, not everybody has that same feeling. Maybe that guy sporting the NU gear received it as a gift or bought it just because it was on sale with no real thought of Husker loyalty. Whatever the reason, it was obvious he wanted nothing to do with any affiliation with my brother and me by proxy. It wasn't a big thing. However, under other circumstances, it can be devastating. My students tell of the heartache when they see someone they know in public and their friend acts like they have no clue who they are. Usually, their friend is with other friends whose circle of friendship does not intersect. But Jesus addressed the situation in a spiritual setting as well. In Mark 8:38, the Savior taught that, 
"If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” 
He reiterated those words in Matthew 10:32-33 when He said, 
"Whover acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven."
It's easy to acknowledge Jesus this time of year when the world at least pays some attention to Jesus. Even many of my friends in Vietnam celebrate this holiday season although they are not Christian and know little about Jesus. The hard part is in the real world the other fifty-one weeks of the year. A youngster in a grocery store is not a Nebraska fan simply because he chose that morning to dress in the standard uniform of the fan. Neither do I proclaim Jesus simply by wearing a cross under my t-shirt. There has to be a pledge of allegiance to the Lord in there somewhere with witness to people who may be indifferent if not  hostile to my faith. I pray I'm worthy to that calling. Merry Christmas, 2016!

Applicable quote of the day:
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
Brennan Manning

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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