Faith, Journal

The Truth is, We ARE the Fans in the Stands

There’s a common complaint amongst coaches’ wives—one thing that seems to be hard for every one of us.

The bleachers.

There’s always that one guy (or girl). They always have a better play to run. They ask questions like, “Do they EVER work on tackling?” and shout things like, “WHAT ARE WE EVEN DOING OUT THERE?!” They mumble things under their breath just loud enough for you to hear.

They are the bleacher coaches. And they think they know more than the actual coaches.

And we get so annoyed.

They think they know everything when they actually know nothing.

They have no idea what they’re talking about.

If they would just trust the process.

It’s about so much more than just that one play.

And I hate admitting it, but I am a hypocrite. And most likely, so are you.

You see, we are the fans in the stands. We are the ones questioning every play, screaming that the one in charge must not know what He’s doing. We are the ones not trusting the process.

At the root of all of us is this clinging to control that keeps us from handing our lives over completely. And we get so irritated by that lack of trust in our home crowd, but we tend to miss our own struggle with it.

We don’t think our creator, the Master of the Universe, the one who prepares the path before us, who knows our past and our future, who is all-powerful and never-failing knows what he’s doing.

HE HAS A PERFECT RECORD. And yet.

We get so frustrated with those fans for not trusting our coach. But he is holding something precious in his hands. Their team. Their tradition. Their CHILD. And us? We don’t trust our God. Because he is holding something precious in his hands. Our EVERYTHING.

We get that the coaches we love work long hours to ensure victory for their team. They study the ins and outs of every game, know every opponent, and map out each and every play. They are working for the GOOD OF THE TEAM, not just one player.

We serve a God who loves us so much, who is all knowing, in all things, who sees far beyond our own eyes, who works for the good of those who love him, and who asks us, lovingly, to be still and know.

And isn’t that what we want for the bleacher coaches? Won’t they PLEASE just be quiet? Just be still? Just be patient? Just believe?

We trust the coaches because we hear their passion and listen to their plans. We spend time getting to know their hearts and think, “Man, if everyone would just buy in, just trust him like I do, we could be so good.” We have an intimate connection with them. So even though they are fallible and human and not nearly as awesome as we think they are, we trust them wholeheartedly and question anyone else who doesn’t do the same.

And I can just hear all the angels up in heaven saying,

They think they know everything but they actually know nothing.

They have no idea what they’re talking about.

If they would just trust the process.

It’s about so much more than just that one thing.

I guess the first question is, do we trust the one directing our lives? The one who’s loss column is completely empty. I mean surely, if we can’t trust Him, we can’t trust anyone.

And then the second question is, are we going to get our butts in the game or sit back in the bleachers and whine? Because Jesus isn’t asking for our input, our cheers or approval. He’s not even asking for us to understand what he’s doing. He’s asking for our participation in his mission. He wants our feet on the turf and our hearts bought in. It’s not enough to show up on Friday nights and think we know enough to question every decision. He wants us there with him every day, every morning, every evening, leaning into his teaching, mimicking his every move, following his every footstep. In the words of Kyle Idleman, he doesn’t want fans. He wants followers.

So the next time we’re tempted to complain about that guy, let’s just remember—we get it. We have trust issues, too. And instead of letting our frustration overwhelm us, maybe we can say a prayer for the both of us.

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