Will You Celebrate The Victory Tomorrow?

The Iron Bowl is over and the Auburn Tigers won the game;
The Crimson Tide went down like a house in flames.
The victory is sweet, bragging rights for an entire year;
They’ll start rolling Toomer’s Corner as they celebrate and cheer.

Fans storm the field as number one was taken out;
“There’s a new number one in the state!” they boast and shout.
The winners are exuberate, the losers are feeling sore;
The defeated quickly leave, making their way for the door.

Will you stay up and out too late to celebrate or complain?
Will you have a headache tomorrow or have other aches and pains?
Will you be too tired from all that transpired today?
Will you stay at home so you don’t have to hear what others have to say?

Will you go to church tomorrow, wearing your team colors with pride?
Will Sunday School consume what someone said on the other side?
Will your thoughts be on the game and not spiritual food you’re being fed?
Will you be too tired and sleepy to hear what the minister said?

Will you celebrate the victory, the victory you can have tomorrow?
Will you celebrate a victory of life, a life without sorrow?
Will you shout just as loud, like you did for your team?
Will you stay away from church and not want to be seen?

Will you celebrate just as much tomorrow for a greater cause?
Will you leap to your feet, clap your hands in joy for it all?
Will you go to church to enjoy and celebrate the win?
I’m not talking about celebrating a ball game, I’m talking about a life free of sin.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. ( 1 Corinthians 9:24 KJV )

If You Think The Ballgames Over…

Think again.  Last night I watched one of my favorite collegiate teams win their 14th National Championship.  I know there is and always will be a dispute pertaining to how Alabama got fourteen national titles.  All I can say about that is, ‘it is what it is’.  I didn’t cast a vote any more this time than I did when they were given the title in the 1920’s, 30’s, 60’s or 70’s.  They’ve had a tradition of winning the right game at the right time and that’s what they did last night.  More than one person in this country down through the ages of college football thought this team or that team was the best there was and no other team in the nation could beat them. So that’s how they got ranked and that’s how they were able to get into a bowl game or even a championship game.  It’s not for you or me to decide and it’s not for one person to decide but a great number of people around the country.

If you really want to know about the best collegiate football team that has ever been in college football read up on the 1899 Suwanee Tigers football team also known as the “Iron Men”.  There is not a team that had been able to accomplished the feat of these men in one season before nor ever will.

Recently I saw a commercial on television where it showed all these different athletes and it said they will go on to other things besides sports.  In other words there are more important things in life than just football, basketball or baseball. It is good to win a game and it’s great to win championships but one game we all are playing in is the game of life and it takes a lifetime commitment to reap the rewards of winning that game.  One big victory we all can have is the victory over character.  Win or lose our character is a reflection of both. A good attitude toward others will go farther and last longer than the wounds that any one game had ever caused.

If the other team won I would congratulate them and wish them the best and move on. It wasn’t the end of my world (thank God) or the end of my life (really thank God).  Last year when Auburn beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl then went on to win the National Championship I congratulated them and the fans, was proud for them then I began looking forward to the next season.  I wanted Alabama to win but when they didn’t I’d rather have Auburn bring the title home to this great state than to see it go anywhere else.

I have my picks and if they don’t win so be it.  We may agree to disagree but I’m not going to call anyone all kinds of names and wish the worst on them or their team because I wouldn’t want it done to me.  I would rather have my character intact, win or lose, than anything else in life.  Nope, the ballgames not over quite yet.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1

Rivals United

Down south in Alabama we learn one of two things early in life, it is either “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle”. There has not and probably never will be an in between. You root for one and loathe the other. Anywhere else someone could ask you your sign and you would probably give them a sign of the zodiac of your birthday. In Alabama there are only two signs. It is a big “A” for Alabama or an “AU” set in one another for Auburn.

Another thing people down south know not to do is to jump in the middle of a fight between two brothers. If you take sides eventually you’ll wind up fighting both of them and you turn out to be the enemy.

I know a family of brothers several years ago that would play softball together. They would argue among themselves and you would think that they were going to get into a knock-down-drag-out fight before the game was over.  But yet somehow they would almost always beat their opponents.  I don’t know if that was a psychological approach they had to get opponents off guard and beat them or if they just really argued that much among themselves. Some years later I found out that they really argue that much among themselves. But most importantly they still looked out for each other.  And just like those brothers that fight among themselves it goes the same for almost all other Alabamians.

When the truth came out about the man, someone who claimed to be an Alabama fan, poisoned the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn, it was true Alabama fans who rose up and started the Facebook page ‘Tide for Toomer’s’. Not only that, thousands of dollars were raised to help save the trees. Some people say they are only trees but to Auburn fans they are a heritage. And “heritage” is a very big word in the South. Alabamians came together to try to save that heritage. I for one also joined and hope and pray the trees can be saved.

Then the storms and tornadoes hit West and North Alabama back in April. It was true Auburn fans who rose up and started the ‘Toomer’s for Tide’ Facebook page. Auburn players, coaches and fans went to help their fellow Alabamians in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. They treaded into what is generally considered enemy territory. But yet they weren’t there to gloat or brag about beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl and winning college football’s national championship last year. They were there to help and console them any way they could.

Personally I grew up an Alabama fan. My wife and I both are still Alabama fans and there are a lot of homes in the state of Alabama that is considered a house divided. My home is worse than that. My daughter-in-law is a big Auburn fan and my son is a big Texas Longhorn fan. You wouldn’t believe the funny looks and comments we get when we go Christmas shopping and our buggy is full of Alabama, Auburn and Texas shirts and hats. My wife and I are also big Troy Trojan fans. We would attend games at Troy University so I chose to root more for the Troy Trojans than the others. I tell people I’m still an Alabama fan but if they ever play Troy I’ll be rooting for the Trojans. I love to see our home teams win. We all do. Whether it’s Troy, Auburn or Alabama. And when the two big rivals play each other this fall I’ll be rooting for my Alabama Crimson Tide to win. I may be one of the few that roots for the other team after the Iron Bowl when they have an opportunity to win a bigger prize like Auburn did last year. 

Even though my heart was broken for those affected by the storms it also swelled with pride to see two big rivals put aside their differences and help one another out.  So always remember if you’re not part of this big Alabama family please don’t jump in the middle of the fight.