Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional, Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ric Flair in 2011. (Photo Courtesy: Mike Kalasnik/CC License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39 NIV)

Your #1 Fan

On December 15, 1998, I was absent from high school. How do I remember that?  Well, on December 14, 1998, professional wrestler Ric Flair had an apparent heart attack on Monday Nitro. That happened to coincide with me contracting strep throat, but for months afterword my friends accused me of missing school so I could stay updated on Ric Flair’s status. Yeah, I was that guy. For the first twenty years of my life, professional wrestling was part of my DNA. I was the guy that everybody in high school looked to when they missed a show or forgot a trivial fact during a conversation. Pretty sad, right?

Looking back, I wasted a lot of time watching professional wrestling. However, it wasn’t a total loss. I learned a ton about human nature. It is genius how they suck people into a presumably competitive sporting event with spectacular athletes, draw them in further with dramatic storylines of good versus evil, and then make them fall in love with characters that are built solely to evoke emotion. The characters, that is truly what it is all about.

In general, characters are established as either good guys (faces) or bad guys (heels). As a good guy, I was always drawn to the good guys. They stood for what was right, always played by the rules, and were quick to get up every time they were knocked down. They were my heroes:  Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, Sting…the good guys. I often considered myself their biggest fan.

You know what happened, though?  The good guys didn’t stay good guys. Sting got all weird and emo. The Ultimate Warrior disappeared, reappeared, and disappeared without anyone really noticing. Then Hulk Hogan, the real American hero, the main reason I said my prayers and took my vitamins as a kid, dropped his big leg on the souls of millions of Hulkamaniacs around the world when he joined the n.W.o. Hearts were broken.

I guess that means I never was their biggest fan, or else I’d probably still be watching. When the good guys are not good anymore, they lose fans. Fans move on to the new hero that steps up to replace the old one. As fans, our loyalty is very limited.

Fortunately, God is not like that. God loves me when I’m a “good guy” and gets super excited every time I have a victory. He gets excited when I step in and help those in need and cheers me on when I feel down and out. But what about the times I mess up and break the rules or hit somebody in the back with a steel chair?  What about the times when sin gets the best of me?  He still loves me. He forgives me. He encourages me. He is still my number one fan.

God is definitely my biggest fan, no matter what. He wants the best for me, and never stops loving me.  The good news is that He is your biggest fan as well. If you take time to listen to Him cheering, you will feel encouraged, loved, and supported more than you ever thought possible. I would even be willing to bet that God still roots for Hulk Hogan.

How has your number one fan supported you lately?

– Jamie Boggs

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