The fans of the Baltimore Ravens are crazy! Now honestly, I don’t mean that in a bad way … quite the opposite really. They are true “fans.” Think about that word “fan” and what it means and from where it comes. It is a shortened version of the word “fanatic,” which describes someone who is sold out in support of a team or cause.
During the 2011 football season, one of my sons had suffered a very serious chainsaw accident and was in the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. The second of his reconstructive surgeries took place on the Sunday morning of a Ravens home football game. We were close enough to the stadium that you could likely open the windows and hear the cheering! But what was interesting to me was how every TV set in every room was tuned in to the game. The doctors and nurses were making their rounds, but they appeared honestly more focused on watching the game themselves (as they moved room to room) than providing focused medical care. That is passion, fandom, and support!
We need to be that way for God. I’m not saying we need to wear #7 purple and black jerseys with “Yahweh” across the shoulders (although, truth be told, those jerseys would need to be blue and silver). But we need to have that defining internal passion that goes with us all the time – 24 / 7 / 365 … you know what I mean.
The human tendency is to make God and His commandments a compartmental component of life… something we drag out on Sundays and perhaps for an observance here and there. What is needed is constant definition. It needs to be THE value that defines every moment of life, informing whatever we are doing.
Beyond that, it becomes the daily intentional responsibility to pass this value along to rising generations. Though it is certainly appropriate to have specific times and classes where this most prominently occurs, the greatest success is for it to be absorbed from everything about the everyday moments of life. The old phrase applies here: more is honestly caught than taught. Teaching is great, but truth is really caught by children when they see it truly modeled in the lives of those older generation people who they respect.
It is not enough for our faith to be about us and our interests; it has to also be about the generations behind us. God said it, Moses said it, Randy said it … Boom! Do it. Revive!
Love the Lord Your God
6 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.