It's football season again!
If you didn't know this already, all you have to do is take a drive through scenic western NY. Buffalo Bills flags are flying, blue and red pennants are waving, and huge, puffy football players in Bills uniforms adorn people's lawns. These things amuse me (especially when an inflatable loses its air pressure and any passing breeze causes it to wobble around like a drunken snake charmer). I don't join the Bills fans since I grew up in Redskins country (shh! don't tell anyone!); I just enjoy the show, no matter who's winning.
Last week my daughter got me thinking about fans. The word "fan," of course, is derived from fanatic, which is normally an undesirable appellation. Yet at this time of year especially, people proudly sport fan shirts, license plates, decals, foam fingers, and even hair cuts which proclaim to the rest of the world that they are #1 fanatics. A quick internet search reveals that fans make up a fanbase or fandom by becoming members of a fan club, holding fan conventions, creating fanzines, and writing fanmail.
I'm personally not a joiner. I don't jump on bandwagons, join fanclubs, or write letters to people I've never met nor am likely to meet. If it's a fad, I typically don't do it. I'd rather watch others do it!
But I wonder if I'm a fan of anyone.
- My husband, of course. He's amazing. Gorgeous, kind, and able to do anything. (Well, almost anything!)
- My kids, for sure. They're the best. Good-looking, talented, loving little angels. (Well... most of the time!)
- My mom, my sister, my extended family and friends...
Hmm... those are people... I wonder if I'm a fan of things.
- Cloud formations.
- Toasty socks and hot cocoa on a chilly day.
- A great book on any day!
- Time with special friends...
I suppose the list could go on forever.
Turning it around, though, I wonder if anyone is my fan. If I had a #1 fan, who would it be?
I have no idea.
But last week my daughter proclaimed it to be God.
What? God is a fan? Of me? My #1 cheering, encouraging, jumping-for-joy-when-I-get-it-right fan?
Isn't that a bit of a stretch? Isn't God really more of a solemn judge, more likely to swat my behind to get me moving than to shout for joy when I do it right?
When one wants to know anything, it's best to go to the source, so I headed for my bedroom and picked up my Bible.
Here's what I found:
1. Yes, God, like any loving parent, occasionally needs to discipline His children.
Proverbs 3:11-12 - God is like a loving father who disciplines the children He delights in.
Hebrews 12:5-6 - The Lord disciplines those He loves.
2. Yes, God is my #1 fan.
Psalm 18:19 - He delights in me.
Psalm 138:8, Jeremiah 29:11 - He has a good plan in mind for me.
Psalm 139:17-18 - He thinks about me.
Zephaniah 3:17 - He rejoices over me with gladness, He delights in me with shouts
"He delights in me with shouts of joy."
Can't get much more "fan"-ish than that, can you?
I think sometimes the religious world tends to get unbalanced (*gasp* heresy!), either regarding God solely as the stern disciplinarian who lacks both a sense of humor and a true, loving joy in His children, or -- on the flip side -- regarding Him as the benevolent grandfather in the sky who judges humanity from the viewpoint of "boys will be boys" and rolls His eyes and chuckles when we get out of hand.
Reared in a sterner setting, the disciplinarian picture is probably the one I more quickly recognize from my formative years.
But balance is the key.
So my daughter was right. God really is my #1 fan.
How cool is that???