If you have paid close attention to this blog throughout the year, you may have noticed that the tone of my writing has probably fluctuated with the ups and downs of my favorite sports teams.  When the University of Kentucky won a national title in basketball earlier this year, I’m sure my posts were all about singing praise, potluck dinners, and break dancing.  Then I got a little bored during the Olympics.

As the college football season has progressed, however, I seem to have gotten grouchy.  Kentucky has had a horrible season, there has never been any hope of improvement, and we finally saw the coach lose his job before the season ended.  It has been the most depressing season I can remember.

However, as Kentucky named a new coach this week that I am excited about, I find myself ready to write about happy things again.  And as I tried to find a way to relate my sports-related joy to my spiritual joy, I was hit right in the face by a Jesus Juke.  However, this one did not come from a fellow Christian, but from the Holy Spirit.

I actually heard the phrase in my head, “Why aren’t you as excited about your faith as you are about Mark Stoops?”  Ouch.  Apparently God didn’t watch the Western Kentucky game.

I completely understand that it is impossible to stay on fire for God 100% of the time.  There are distractions.  Times get tough.  We get tired.  Fortunately, I don’t think God expects us to be perky and jumping for joy all of the time.  In fact, I am pretty sure he encourages us to take some time to rest.  Didn’t He even do that Himself at some point?

However, the point from the Holy Spirit was well-received on my end.  I know that I need to make a better effort at being thankful, showing gratitude (yes, that’s different from being thankful), recognizing blessings, prioritizing my attention, and spending time thinking about who God is and what that means for my life.  If I am able to do more of those things, I am more likely to be filled with the joy of Christ the majority of the time.

Having said that, I think my lesson had everything to do with my focus on my faith and very little to do with my excitement about football.  In fact, I am convinced that God cares about sports.  He just wanted to make sure I had my priorities straight.  And with His grace, I’m getting there.

Do you ever have trouble prioritizing the excitement of your faith?  How are you able to consistently experience the joy of Christ? 

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