I love football. I watch it every chance I get. My family laughs at me as I go through withdrawal when the Super Bowl is over. I have my favorite teams, or teams I will cheer for over others, because I am familiar with them in some way. I lived in the town or state the team is from, or I know someone who knows someone, who knows someone that is on the team. Or I like their uniforms, or some cute guy is playing on the team. Some teams I am stronger about than others, and some I cheer for on occasion, while others I will never cheer for. I am just a fan.
Yesterday as I blogged about the question, “Am I a follower of Jesus?”, and I wrote about being a Monday morning quarterback, it was then that it hit me that I was a fan of Jesus and not a follower. It was like a punch in the face. I had to stop and take a breath. I am just a fan.
A Monday morning quarterback is one who criticizes or passes judgment from a position of hindsight. How easy it is for me to sit on the sidelines and complain. How easy it is for me to tell others what I think they should have done. How easy it is for me to get up and walk away without being involved in the game. How easy it is for me to clap when others do something good for the team. I can encourage from the seats, very well. And I don’t have to get dirty, or hurt, or embarrassed, or yelled at, or learn something new, or change my seat. I am just a fan!
The book talks about the importance of DTR (Defining The Relationship). This process of DTR, honestly looking at myself as a fan or a follower, has not been easy. “Fans often confuse their admiration for devotion. They mistake their knowledge of Jesus for intimacy with Jesus. Fans assume their good intentions make up for their apathetic faith. …. One of the core symptoms of ‘fandom’ is that fans almost always consider themselves to be followers.” How long I have been just a fan!!
As a fan, I want Jesus to WOW me. I want Jesus to feed me. I want Jesus to take care of me. I want Jesus to meet my needs. As a fan, I watch others to see if they are doing what is necessary to meet my needs. To keep me happy. To WOW me. As a fan, it is all about me. Jesus does not need fans. Jesus did not die on a cross so I could yell “Go Jesus”. But that is in fact what I have been doing. I have been just a fan.
There is a song that goes…I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. A friend of mine sang it to me this way…I have decided to be a fan of Jesus, I have decided to be a fan of Jesus, I have decided to be a fan of Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. I didn’t laugh. I had been singing his version for some time. But the good news for me is that I can turn from that song. I just have to be willing to get dirty, and hurt, and embarrassed, and yelled at, and learn something new, and change my seat, and the list goes on. I can start singing the song the way it was written as soon as I stop being a fan.
OK…take a deep breath Anne…I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.