Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just a Fan or Devoted

Wow! So this is what my blog looks like. It’s been so long, I nearly forgot. Despite my lengthy sabbatical from blogging, I’m going to bet on a long shot and post something, hoping someone might still be out there to read it. So here I go.

My wife received a devotional booklet a few days ago called From the Heart, One Minute Devotions. The book shares brief, yet poignant, truths to encourage and challenge a believer in their walk with the LORD. In the fast and hectic pace that many today find themselves in, the brief word of encouragement can be a needed blessing in the midst of the chaos. I certainly appreciate the ministry such a booklet provides, but I have to admit that the title struck me as odd. It just seemed oxy-moronic to me.

Let me explain. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines ‘devotion’ as “a religious fervor” or “the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal.” That definition rings true to me (I suppose that’s why they’re Merriam-Webster). Whether it’s devotion to a spouse, a sports team, or a hobby, you observe this sense of fervor and loyalty. I have been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since I was a little boy, but I don’t know if I would call myself a devoted fan. I like to watch the games when I can, but if a miss a game, I don’t feel any great emptiness as a result. Occasionally I might check out some news about the team, but that is rare. I’ve bought team gear when they made it to the Super Bowl the past couple of times, but I bought the clearance items that were a few years old to save money. So even though they’re my favorite NFL team, I don’t know if I fit into that devoted category. I don’t think my behavior qualifies as “ardently dedicated.”

In the same light, when I read the title of that devotional booklet, I wondered whether one minute with the LORD qualified as ‘devotion.’ Now I’m sure that the author and publisher aren’t trying to say, “One minute a day is all you need with the LORD.” They know better than that, and the book certainly has a beneficial purpose. We read this morning’s reading at breakfast to start the day. The title simply made me question what our devotion to the LORD looks like as believers. Are we ‘devoted’ to the LORD or just merely a fan?

There are people who will never miss a game of their favorite sports team. They’ll have hats, shirts, jerseys, jackets, pillow cases, lamp shades, and even toilet seat covers with the logo of their favorite team. If they do have to miss a game to go to their mother’s funeral (or something of comparable significance), they’ll record it to watch later. These “ardently dedicated” people will sit through rain, ice and snow to watch their favorite team live and in person. When their team is down by three touchdowns and there’s only two minutes left in the game, they’ll stay until the final seconds have ticked away just in case their team makes a miraculous comeback. Such people aren’t merely fans, they’re devoted.

So what about you? When it comes to Jesus, how would you describe yourself? Just a fan or DEVOTED.

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