Cooper talked me into going to Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night to watch the national championship game with a few thousand of our closet friends. Rick and Randi went with us or rather, we went with them. I’ve been a KU fan since high school – the Larry Brown era. I needed a basketball team to root for seeing Alabama doesn’t play basketball…(do they?). I’ve been fortunate to get to a couple of games since we’ve lived here. I love Allen Fieldhouse. I think it’s one of the top 5 sports venues ever.
However, with all my pinched nerve issues, the idea of sitting on bleachers for 3 hours in a hot sweaty gym was not on my top 1,000 list. But Coop was amped. And it would be one of those memories. Can’t really pass that up.
When you walk into the Fieldhouse on game day – and even on a night like this – it’s a lot like walking into church. I was thinking about this during the 90 minute ramp up to the start of the game.
I was invited to go by someone who was passionate about sharing this experience. Rick and Randi were over at the house talking about 2008 when they watched the game in the Fieldhouse. It was obvious the passion and excitement of being there when Kansas beat Memphis. Their enthusiasm for the event compelled them to talk about it.
I went with a veteran. Rick had a great plan. Instead of waiting out front with the rest of the gang, go through a top secret entrance so we can get in the gym quickly and get the seats with the backs on them. It worked. And it really wasn’t a top secret entrance…at least I don’t think it was.
There was a dress code. Where are all these people going and why are they dressed alike? Crimson and blue. Jerseys and t-shirts. Want to show people you’re an outsider? Wear black and gold.
They sang these songs that everybody seemed to know the words.
There were rituals that everybody seemed to know. Two slow, three fast – Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU.
There were times we were supposed to stand, supposed to sit.
There are people in this room whose life seems to depend on this event.
For the most part, everyone was friendly.
There were these leaders out front urging us on, leading us in…worship?
There was this shared focus and mission in the room that was contagious.
Think I’m exaggerating? It’s kinda funny if you think about it.
My brother-in-law is an Aggie. Texas A&M all the way, in the corp – the whole thing. We were in Austin, Texas for Thanksgiving one year and A&M was playing Texas at Memorial Stadium in Austin. He asked me to go with him to the game. Get this – we didn’t have tickets. We were going to walk up and find someone to buy tickets from. Now, I’m not an Aggie fan. (I sorta am now but not then.) I hate Texas. But my borther-in-law was so excited about the experience, the rituals, the rivalry, the pomp and circumstance – he was going and he wanted to take me with him.
So I went. It was an awesome experience. We sawed Varsity’s horns off…short. (My A&M brethren will understand.)
My point is this – make the ask. Experiencing God is something ridiculously more important than a sporting event. Just like we don’t even think twice about inviting someone to that kind of experience, we shouldn’t think twice about inviting them to experience worship. Yes, there will be somethings that they don’t understand. Songs they don’t know. Rituals they don’t get. The people may even be dressed a little odd. But they may just be intrigued enough to come back and learn. Or they may just love it – even though they don’t understand it. They may just have their life changed.
Sure, some will say no but some will say yes just because they like you and they want to see what is this that is getting you all amped up. And I can’t think of a better time to ask than now.You can find more of Grant's random thoughts on his blog.