By Lance Cordle
It has been called “Title Town, USA.” It is the home of the only NFL team owned by the community rather than one general owner or syndicate. It is the smallest market location of an NFL team and it boasts of selling out every home game since 1960. The football team’s season tickets are prized possessions and passed down from one generation to the next. Its football team’s fans are called “cheeseheads.” Of course, I am referring to Green Bay, WS, a city of approximately 105,000, and home to the Green Bay Packers, winners of thirteen NFL championships, including four Super Bowls. (Source: wikipedia.org)
With all of this in mind, it was not surprising to learn that the 2013-2014 NFL playoff game scheduled for Sunday, January 5, 2014, was sold out. According to USA Today, a combination of corporate and individual sales kept the streak of sold-out games at Lambeau Field (Green Bay’s stadium) alive.
What is surprising however, is that the game was sold-out with people knowing that game-time temperatures would be near zero and wind-chill temperatures would be well below zero. As I understand it, the people committed to go to the game in spite of: the inconvenience of snow and ice around them as they were going to the game; the fact they would need to be in the stadium well before the game started; the near-zero temperatures all during their time at the stadium; the inconvenience caused by having to wear layers of clothing and cold-weather gear to keep warm; the risk of pneumonia and frostbite. To turn a phrase, before the stadium sold-out, the fans had to sell-out in their minds by being so dedicated that they would spend $105.00 and more, per ticket to see their beloved Packers play, and hopefully defeat the San Fransisco 49ers in the midst of cold, harsh weather. Such dedication must impress all of us, even if we would not be willing to do that.
Why are people so willing to pay large amounts of money and endure such harsh circumstances just to see a football game? The answer is obvious: They value their football team. The Green Bay Packers mean so much to them, they have no real problem with the inconveniences.
Such dedication ought to make people stop in their tracks when it comes to serving God. Some people likely spend less time during a week in worship and Bible study than the average Packers’ fan does on one day of a Green Bay home game. A stadium filled with people on a freezing, winter night should shame the people who want to be called Christians, but who, in reality make very few and/or very small sacrifices to serve and worship God.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:45, 46). It is all about what we value.
By the way . . . on January 5, 2014 . . . the Packers lost. Do you think many people will sell their season tickets? Don’t bet on it!
- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com