2020 was a strange year. I think that is the one thing literally everyone on the planet can agree on.
One of the many things that struck me in 2020 was empty stadiums. When sporting events started being televised again, the bleachers were empty. It was so strange to see, but I am going to bet it was even stranger for the athletes.
See, when they train and practice for the big game, they work on themselves. They attribute their strength to hours in the weight room, their plays on endless practices, and their skill on years of focus. In the post game interview they might mention the fans, but I would be willing to assume that until this past year they didn't realize just how important the people in the stands were.
You could see it in how the franchises tried to compensate. Cardboard cut outs in the seats, piping in canned applause and cheers, or even huge screens with fans' faces watching from home.
The fact of the matter is, we as human beings are encouraged by those watching and cheering us on.
I believe this is why Paul wrote in Hebrews (and God made sure we still had the words today) reminding us of the great cloud of witnesses. The audience. The fans. The people who are watching us play out all of our training. The ones who are being inspired by how we move when an obstacle is presenting. The spectators to our impending victory.
We need them as much as athletes need their stadium filled. We lift one another up and we spur one another on. Knowing someone is watching hold us accountable to be our best.
The circumstances of our lives have been our training ground, but now it is time to run the race. The stadium isn't empty. Life is opening back up and with the latest CDC recommendations, people are starting to gather again.
The energy of the crowd is back and in full force. The community we have craved for over a year is emerging. It is time to show everyone, in spite of the last year, that we are on the winning team.
Run Your Race.
Play Your Game.
Be The Victor.
1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:37 ESV
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
2 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
Deuteronomy 20:4 ESV
For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’