When you accept a blessing from someone, you are giving a blessing in return.
- submitted by Guideposts reader Judith Toth Bigham of Nova, Ohio
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect… (1 Peter 3:15, ESV)
For my daughter Ally’s 20th birthday, she asked for only one thing–tickets to see the Cubs play the Dodgers when the Cubbies rolled into Los Angeles last week–so I gladly obliged. I purchased excellent tickets from a season ticketholder who couldn’t go, and we planned for a fun night.
Of course, these tickets were right in the heart of die-hard Dodgers fans, and normally that wouldn’t be an issue; I’d just blend in and enjoy a great game of baseball. But, you see, I’m a die-hard Cubs fan.
And, I don’t just back the Cubs because I’m from the Midwest–my love for the Cubs goes way deeper than that. I love the Chicago Cubs because my Daddy loved them. Much of my childhood, I was blessed to go road-trippin’ with the Cubbies.
Mom, Daddy and I would pile in our long, white Caddy and head off to wherever the Cubs were playing that night. We were at so many games, that I felt like I personally knew Billy Buckner and Ivan DeJesus and the rest of the team at the time.
On the drive to the ballpark, Dad would quiz me on each of the player’s statistics, and I’d spit them out like I was Harry Caray. Those great memories birthed a great passion for baseball and a great love for the Chicago Cubs. (No wonder I did a stint as a sportswriter early in my writing career!)
As you can imagine, I really wanted to wear one my bedazzled Cubs shirts to the game on Saturday, but knowing that the Cubs had badly beaten the Dodgers on Friday night, I was nervous I might be provoking some passionate Dodgers fans who would surely be sitting around us.
So, I took the cowardly Cubs fan way out and wore red. (At least I didn’t wear Dodgers Blue, right?)
Anyway, when we arrived in our seats, I was so surprised to see an entire row of Cubs fans in front of us–all proudly wearing their Cubs jerseys and hats. They cheered and hollered for their beloved Cubbies, despite the heckling from nearby Dodgers diehards, while I clapped politely.
The Cubs ended up losing in extra innings (and torrential rain, I might add). Still, I enjoyed spending time with my youngest daughter, and I loved the beautiful night of baseball; however, I wish I’d enjoyed it in my Cubs attire.
Later as I reflected on our night at Dodger Stadium, I felt almost guilty that I hadn’t represented my team in the midst of the Dodgers fans. Don’t get me wrong; I will cheer for the Dodgers when they play any other team BUT the Cubs. But that night, I was a very quiet Cubbies fan, and that’s not like me at all.
It made me wonder if that carries over into my spiritual life. Am I a quiet Christian, afraid I might offend those around me who aren’t living for God?
Do I err on the side of timidity, worried I might step on someone’s toes who doesn’t believe the way that I believe? Or do I proudly let those around me know that I am totally sold on Jesus, even if I might be heckled for my beliefs?
There’s a fine line, I think, between being an all-out Christian and being an overly-aggressive Spiritual Sally. Those who wear their “Christianwear,” have a “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker, and work “Praise the Lord!” into conversation at least twice every half hour probably mean well, but that will never be me.
Still, I hope I am more than just a quiet witness for Jesus without being overly obnoxious about my faith. I pray that I’m a good witness for Jesus–in both words and actions. And, I truly hope that I can let others know about my love for Jesus with the same passion that I talk about my beloved Cubbies.
I pray those same things for you. Let’s be bold for our Lord. Let’s win others to Jesus by our love. And, let’s be unashamed of our walk of faith even though many around us might be on another road. Amen?
Oh, and go Cubs!
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, with more than 60 books and 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines to her name. She was won several SELAH Awards (best children’s book and book of the year for God Knows You in 2014 and best children’s book for My Big Book of Prayers in 2012), and her book Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood was named a Family Christian Bookstores Premiere Pick in 2006. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a small petting zoo. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys cheering on the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies and the LA Kings. Find out more about Michelle at her website.