4 minutes reading time (720 words)

I Married into the South, Football, and Chick Fil A.


The ruling on the field stands.

The ruling on the field is confirmed.

Football reigns and rules in the South. On Monday, we were glued to the TV to watch the National Championship college football game. It was intense to say the least. Half of my family barked like a true Dawg (University of Georgia). The other half was cheering “Roll Tide” (University of Alabama). Suffice it to say that all of us were hoarse by the end of the game. After every play, there was yelling. “Yeeessss!!!! Noooooo!!!!” And all at the same time!

I married into the South, destined to learn its lingo and appreciate its vittles. I have mastered the great art of many southern sayings. “Bless her heart” easily rolls off my tongue. “Y’all” is probably my favorite and oh so practical. “Can’t never could” is a fun phrase to say and use. Food is a cultural experience. Yes, Chick Fil A, a fast food restaurant featuring the Original Chicken Sandwich is frequented biweekly in our family. No, Pepsi is not OK. Coke reigns supreme.  And BBQ places equal the amount of churches in our town.

But football, well, football has a life of its own in the South. College football dominates and could arguably be considered a day of the week in the fall.  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Football. On this momentous day exists not only the games, but also great food, pregame tailgates, game day outfits, comradery, excitement, anticipation, and did I mention great food.

Monday’s game was a nail-biter. TWO TEAMS FROM THE SOUTH AND ONLY A FOUR-HOUR DRIVE APART. I’m sorry. Was I yelling? Yes. Yes, I was. The match up for the two best teams in the nation was nothing short of incredible.

I learned a very interesting fact about rulings. When a ruling on the field stands it means there is not enough evidence to overturn a call (it could have gone either direction). When a ruling on the field is confirmed, it indicates the ruling on the field was correct (there is more than enough evidence to show it was the right call). Georgia had a man run 60 yards down field to score. It was ruled a touchdown. However, the young man’s heel came as close as close could get to being out. Had they ruled during the play that the young man stepped out, it also would have stood. The ruling on the field stood. The touchdown counted.

This caused me to draw parallels to spiritual rulings. Journey with me in my thoughts.

If we claim to be Christians what would the ruling be in our lives?

Would the ruling stand? What if there is just enough evidence that we are Christians. We have professed that Christ is our savior. We don’t cuss (remember, I live in the South, y’all). We don’t get drunk. We go to church sometimes. We don’t lie. We don’t cheat. We give $20 to the church when we feel guilty.

There is not enough evidence to overturn the call. We would stand as Christians. Yet, what kind of stand is that?

But what about the other ruling?

Would the ruling be confirmed?

What if we have more than enough evidence to show that we are Christ-followers? In fact, what if there is an abundance of evidence? Christ said, “Come, follow me.” We obey willingly and expectantly. Our lives are filled with sincere worship, studying God’s Word, and faithful and persistent prayer. We look for ways to initiate with our neighbors. We are known to be loving, forgiving, humble and caring. We have peace and joy. (This evidence is not exposed in one day, but unfolds in a consistent, deep, and abiding way over the course of months and years.)

In this case, it is confirmed, we are Christians.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

May 2018 be a year of abundance, an abundance of evidence of Christ in our lives.

What thoughts do you have of being a Christ-follower?

Do you say “y’all?” Is there a Chick Fil A in your town? If so, what do you like to order? Who is “your” football team?

"How many times can I tell her no?"
Wonder - Choose Kind. Be Ordinary.

Comments 1

Guest - Becky Barber on Friday, 12 January 2018 15:26

Great post! Great analogy! Thanks, Joan!

Great post! Great analogy! Thanks, Joan!
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Thursday, 09 July 2020

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