“We got spirit, yes, we do! We got spirit, How ‘bout You!”
My son’s team was playing the school’s rival. They’d had a rough year with many losses. This was one football game we were hopeful of winning.
We made a touchdown in the first quarter. The extra point was good. We cheered our boys on and felt great! We weren’t picking up any more points, but then, neither were they. Things looked positive–maybe it would be a shut out!
When the game was all but over and the cold was settling in, Cousin Danny decided to head out to avoid the after-game traffic snarl-ups. He had come to see our son compete on that cold day and he agreed to take my younger children home. So, I walked to the car with them to help get them buckled in and carry the extra blankets.
With less than two minutes on the clock, the crowd went wild. I looked back and saw the opposing team cheering, and above the din, I could hear my own husband’s voice like a bellowing bull elk roar, “Noooooooo!” I quickly made my way back through the grandstand to find out what had happened.
Not only did our rivals make a touchdown, but they made a two-point conversion! There it was on the scoreboard, 8 them, 7 us. Their entire grandstand roared, “WE GOT SPIRIT, YES WE DO! WE GOT SPIRIT, HOW ‘BOUT YOU?”
Do I need to tell you we didn’t? Every ounce of spirit left with that pigskin as it crossed over the end zone the second time, costing us victory by a single point.
We all have disappointments and failures that happen throughout life. Some of the disappointments happen next to our neighbor’s joys and successes. In sports, how we choose to handle it is called sportsmanship. Can you hold it together when you have a defeat? Can you be gracious when you win and the other guy loses?
The children of Israel had plenty of times to practice “sportsmanship.” Things didn’t always look too good. I’d say after a 40-year losing streak, (wandering around the desert with only a prediction of a land flowing with milk and honey), it would be tough to keep “spirited” and trust God’s word to be true.
How was Noah’s spirit after 40 days of heavy rain, and over a year in the ark until the flood waters receded. Everything that was familiar to the Noah and his family was annihilated, how were their spirits?
And others: Joseph spent years in an Egyptian prison, separated from family, falsely accused, Mary as she carried a child out of wedlock, misunderstood by friends and family, Stephen as he fell under a pile of stones, Paul as he was shipwrecked, imprisoned, beaten, John as he was banned to a life of exile on the island of Patmos . . . how were their spirits?
God helps us through the times in our lives where the rubber meets the road. Jesus and His life in us gives us “spirit” to turn our mourning into dancing. Christianity is a lifestyle that is lived in faith, regardless of whether we see victory or defeat in the natural circumstances around us. We either give God the praise or our enemy, the Devil, gets the glory. We give God our trust, we thank Him in all things, we realize He allows nothing that we can’t handle with His help, and no temptation has overtaken us but that which is common to man. He is ever present and loving us in both defeat and victory. There’s a triumph that comes when we aren’t crushed in our defeats.
If God’s Holy Spirit is in you, empowering you, comforting you, then respond: “We got Spirit! Yes, we do! We got Spirit! How ‘bout you?”