Tonight is the first Duke/Carolina game. In fact it's already started and Duke isn't doing that hot. This is an annual event that gives me automatic heartburn. In fact, for this game I've never even really thought that Duke ever had a chance. I guess I'm not a true Duke fan.
I did have a chance to attend the Duke-Miami game this past weekend. It was a dream come true for me and my wife as Duke tickets are hard to come by. We drove 2.5 hours each way to get there. We took out a whole Saturday to go to a basketball game. We got there, got in, and Duke went down by 16 points. It seemed like a wasted trip....
But as we were down by 16 points, I noticed something. The Duke students never stopped chanting. When going to someone elses court the first thing you want to do is take the crowd out of it. You do that by building a seemingly insurmountable lead. When that happens, the crowd usually dies out taking the team with it.
At Duke the cheering not only kept going, but as the deficit went up, the cheering got LOUDER. You never see that. Each time Miami would score, the students would yell louder to encourage their team to keep working. The crazy thing is that it worked. Duke slowly but surely went on a run. The gap started to close. As we got closer, the cheers got LOUDER. As Jon Scheyer took a shot that tied the game, the crowd went ballistic. It was so loud that my ears were ringing 15 minutes later....The game went to overtime and Duke eventually won it. They were carried by the crowd.
This doesn't happen in the church. When one of our own falls behind, we stop cheering them on. They don't even have to fall behind by much and we completely abandon them. Why is that? Why is it that if one of our own sins, we don't cheer for them to return to a righteous God loving life. This is the most critical time in our relationships with our fellow Christians and we fail.
I want to challenge you if you are reading this. The next time you see a Christian stumble start encouraging and start praying. The more they fall the more you encourage and pray. If we can do this imagine how much we can grow closer to God.
Take care until next time.