Yep. It’s true. I was at that game. And with a minute and half left in that epic game, I said to my dad, “Let’s go”. While we were walking away, I heard the announcer say the Buckeyes were already close to midfield. And by the time we walked past the dorms, I experienced my first earthquake…oh wait, no that was the stadium erupting a half a mile away. The Buckeyes scored on a 40 yard bomb, and thus was the ending to one of the most exciting night games in the history of the ‘shoe.
I know…What was I thinking? Well, let me tell you, and those that know me, it may surprise you. You see, I’m a pretty big Ohio State fan. I’ve gone to games since I was little, cheered with my dad during the big games (except when it got close, he usually had to go on the treadmill to burn off the excess nervous energy, not kidding), and ate chili with my family nearly every game day. My dad was a professor at THE Ohio State University for a number of years, I grew up in Columbus, and have lived there for over 20 years. When I bleed, there is probably a little bit of gray in the scarlet.
So no, it was not because of a lack of “fandom” on my part, and especially on my dad’s part. There were some factors like how much I hate traffic with every fiber of my being. But in the end, that wasn’t the main reason…here it goes, you ready?
It was because of the Lord’s Day. At the risk of you thinking of me over-spiritualizing a decision that most of my buddies would call idiotic, ridiculous, and even irresponsible (some of you would have stolen my tickets from me if you knew I’d leave early). But it’s true. I was already losing my voice that I knew I would need in teaching 25 hyper, highly combustible junior church kids. I knew that with 105,000 people leaving at once, me getting home at 3am would make me pretty tired. I couldn’t risk being tired at a special event where I knew I would be sharing the gospel to those that didn’t know Jesus.
Do I keep kicking myself over the decision and get a sick feeling when I think of seeing that touchdown catch with 100,000 other fans around me? Absolutely! But when I think of those that made decisions at our event for eternity and the kids that were impacted from the Bible lesson…that feeling goes away. You might think I’m crazy, but I believe I made the most spiritually mature decision I’ve made it quite some time. And as the book I’m reading says, I’m NOT A FAN, I’m a follower.