Why I Need to Be More Like a Cheerleader

I’m not quite sure why I’ve been writing about cheerleaders recently, but they inspired me to write this entry. This week I went to my first college football game at the University of Tulsa. My dad has been teaching there on and off for several years in addition to his full-time job, but this summer he became a full-time professor. He bought season tickets to the football games and invited SK and I to attend the opening game. We went and it was a fun experience especially because it brought back memories of my High School, Union, playing on that field for big rival games and TU’s current football coach was the former Union HS coach. I watched as the opposing team scored two touchdowns with TU missing a couple of field goals. TU was hardly on the side of the field where the cheerleaders were during the first quarter as the other team was scoring in the far end zone. I watched as the cheerleaders stepped up their cheers supporting their team. It made me chuckle because all of the fans were disgruntled and even I, an indifferent football fan, was thinking, “c’mon guys! This is pathetic”. Yet, even amidst the scowling fans, the cheerleaders kept smiling and encouraging their team.

I remember being on the sidelines of football and basketball games in High School and feeling dumb when I was all smiley and saying, “Go Big Red—lets GO!” at times when our teams were losing. I remember the cheesiness oozing out of my slap happy smile. Back then I didn’t always understand the rules of the game, but I knew I wanted my team to win! I had worked hard learning routines and memorizing band songs to cheer along to, so I wasn’t about to waste my practice time and not cheer. It didn’t matter how things looked or what the score was, I keep cheering. I didn’t give up in the last few minutes even when the game was going to end in a definite defeat.

In life a lot of times though I am the opposite of my high school cheering days. The day starts off on a bad note and I often immediately project one “bad play” as a lost game or a day ruined. When the enemy seems to be winning and keeps making advances on every front, I throw my pom-poms down and begin to sulk. It just doesn’t make sense to stand up and be joyful. It doesn’t feel natural and at times, I want a pity party. At times I am being defeated and what it will take to make a comeback seems overwhelming.

What’s so great about following Jesus is that I don’t have to be led by my feelings. I can choose to trust in His word even when my feelings are leading me somewhere else. I can rely on the truth that no matter how much I might feel like I’m “losing”, the end of the story is that the enemy is defeated and that Jesus is victorious! That is all that I need to know. I need to pick up my pom-poms, put a smile on my face because I am a daughter of the Most High God, and know I will overcome because of Jesus Christ who lives inside of me.

Stephen and I left the TU game at the beginning of the 4th quarter. It was being televised and that slowed the game down to where the game had already lasted 3 hours by the time we left. It appeared TU didn’t have a chance to come back, so off we went. Stephen turned on the radio in the car to the game and after the opposing team scored yet another touchdown, we turned the radio off. The game in the end was won by TU in double overtime by 7 points! Just like in sports games, our battles aren’t over until they’re over and that my friends is why we MUST keep cheering, keep believing, and hoping! The BEST is yet to come and we will see VICTORY!

Here’s a bonus as I don’t currently have access to my actual Middle School through High School dance team pics…this is 4th grade Halloween when I BEGGED my mom to get a perm–scary! ;) Don’t be a frowning cheerleader!!

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