The Roar of the Crowd – A Post for Patriot Nation

Someone told me yesterday he often wonders what inspires a particular blog post.

Trust me that I’m such a big chicken heart I would never write about any recent conflict with someone who might read it and know I’m talking about them. If I’m inspired by real life situations, they are usually long past (like years) and the participants well-disguised. My cowardice in the face of conflict is legendary.

So, I do write from personal experience but I try to put enough time and prayer between my post and the event that I believe God has had time to work on my heart and dislodge the log in my eye before I start pulling out splinters. (Believe me. If I reacted too quickly in the blog it wouldn’t be pretty.)

World news and public events are a different story. These are fodder for immediate posts. It’s a comfort zone since usually everyone is talking about it and I’m fairly confident that neither Kanye West nor Obama frequent my blog so there is a low risk factor for personal confrontation. (again, the cowardice issue.)

Those of you who have walked with the Lord for many years won’t be surprised to hear how often I am running a particular movie/event/news inspired blog post through my head and then turn to my daily scripture reading to find a correlation. Since I began the blog, one of my projects has been to keep turning back to the gospel of Mark.

So, this morning in Rhode Island is all about the Patriots. I mean, come on! Last night was heartbreaking and all the more so because our hero, Coach Belichick, made a questionable call that cost the game. (Props to Peyton Manning who managed the game so it could turn on one questionable call – you’ve got to give talent and experience its due!).

So, because I love the game and am still reeling from the dropkicklastbreath loss and because the airwaves are full of commentators skewering Belichik, I was meditating on the fickle affections of the crowd, about public opinion, about how easy it is to go from hero to villain and often back to hero based on the thumbs up/thumbs down verdict of the masses.

As a writer trying to get a book published, this issue resonates for me personally as the tastes of the modern reading public changes and what may have been a desirable style or genre last year has no audience in the year to come. So I was thinking how Belichik and the Patriots and writers have to be convinced of their own worth and play their best game and not rise or fall on the sound of cheers or boos. And pastors.

Because then I thought about one of my pastors last night who delivered a ten-minute sermonette in the middle our congregation’s community Thanksgiving dinner. He stood before a packed school cafeteria of people intent on getting their dessert and bravely delivered the gospel message. I say bravely because many people kept talking through his entire message. It was reminiscent of a new comic trying to play a crowded lounge on open mic night to an audience trying to watch the game. If this pastor lived or died based on the reaction of the crowd, he’d have switched off his mic about half way through and gotten himself a piece of pie but I know he plays for an audience of One so delivered the message and let God handle the reaction. This made an impression on me.

So, I’m thinking all this and then I open to the gospel of Mark and I’m in chapter eleven and Jesus is making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, hailed by the crowds as the coming King and greeted with cries of “Hosanna in the highest.” And we know (and He knew) that one week later this same crowd would be shouting “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (See how this works – God’s pretty cool that way).

So, it’s not rocket science to connect the dots. The crowd is fickle. Public opinion turns on a dime and is not known for its taste or wisdom. While individually, we may be educated, cultured and appreciative of nuance, get us in a gang and we sink like stones.

So what’s a person to do? Jesus knew who He was. He knew He came from God and was returning to God. He knew what God had sent Him to do and He did it. Likewise, we need to know who we are in Christ. We need to be confident in where we are heading. Know what we are here to do and do it with all love, excellence and faithfulness.

And like any good football player, we need to mute the roar of the crowd, focus on playing our best game and, win or lose, remember who we are and what really matters at the end of the day –  that we were the ones in the game.

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10 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Mike says:

    There was a football game last night?

  2. Andrea says:

    Lori,
    This is a great post. GOD BLESS YOU! “sink like stones”…that is us!
    Blessings, andrea

  3. Cheri says:

    Lori,

    I so love your honesty. I can’t wait to meet you in person one day!

    I loved your post. It echoed the Bible study I’ve been doing, the devotional I’ve been reading, and our pastor’s message yesterday. I guess God wants me to hear it!

    To use the words he used in prayer to close out the message yesterday, “You have been divinely appointed to do what you are doing.”

    I believe this is true of your blog, Lori, and of all of God’s children who are seeking to fulfill the purpose to which He has called us. We just sometimes need to be encouraged that we are truly about His business.

    Blessings,
    Cheri

  4. What a beautiful stream of thoughts. I especially loved the minister speaking to a crowd of One. My husband and I just self-published a book, and we’re constantly reminding ourselves that all we have to do is what we’re told to do.
    Thanks for posting.

  5. Andrea, I always remember a line about Jesus in Leonard Cohen’s song, Suzanne – “He sang beneath our wisdom like a stone” isn’t that an amazing line?

  6. Cheri, What would I do without you? What an encourager – always so specific. I think this is every writer’s struggle always – published or not. Keep on keeping on in the strength of the Lord.

  7. Welcome, Jennie! I find it a daily struggle to focus on performing for that audience of One but believe it’s what it’s all about. I’ll have to pop by your blog! God bless you in your publishing endeavor.

  8. dlynne222 says:

    Amen! Great post Lori!