This morning a great friend and amazing man of God, posted about a dream he had. In his dream he saw a great number of excited people gathered around a man who was legendary in his church organization. As the dream progressed, the crowd began to dissipate and finally the man was left standing alone in the rain. My friend made the statement :”It was as though in the dream, people’s excitement was more about the excitement than it was about his (the man) genuine worth.”That profound truth has been stuck in my mind and heart all morning.It has been said that “excited people excite people.” During my life I have witnessed this over and over again.
The Tennessee Titans made it to the 2000 Super Bowl. I was privileged to go. It was an experience for sure but not one I wish to repeat. As I sat in the wonderful seats made available to me by some wonderful people, I was excited about the game and the prospect of leaving as the World Champions of Football. The excitement was overwhelming for a while. Then there was the kick off! Wow. Super Bowl and I was there in the midst of it all cheering for my team. I was standing and yelling and being a great fan. After all, it’s part of the sport. The fans are the heart of it all.
Little did I know, everyone didn’t share my excitement. Behind me a very loud and gruff voice said “You are gonna have to sit down so I can watch the game.” I turned to see a man with a team shirt of a team not even in the Super Bowl. He said. “I paid good money for these seats now sit down. “. I looked at him for a moment the did something every good Titan fan would do. I stepped out from my seat into the isle. My wife froze in fear. I leaned down to the man and said “Mr. I have no idea who you are, but do recognize my seat is closer than yours. Good money paid for my seat too. Now, in Tennessee, we don’t sit down for football. We sit down in Sunday School, but we stand for football. So….one of two things is getting ready to happen. You are either going to become a Titan fan . or I am going to trade seats with you so I will be behind you and my standing won’t be an issue for you.” He looked at me then smiled. I was relieved. He said “sir, you are absolutely right. Who is your favorite player and I will cheer from now on.” He and his son stood for the rest of the game with us. He was a CEO of a big company who just came to Super Bowls to bring his son.
We lost that game by one yard.
After the Super Bowl, I had an Easter Outreach at my church. I invited one of the Titans to come and be the guest speaker. I had an overflow crowd. He gave autographs, and we gave a football that had many of the team names on it. It was an exciting event. Then….he and I were standing there alone in the parking lot. We discussed a bit of the Super Bowl game and I noticed that he was not all that upset. He just said, “we do our best to bring excitement to our fans”. It doesn’t matter who the next big star is on the team. The team moves on after the excitement.
The next Sunday, few people returned to the church who had come for the excitement. And there we were. Standing in the rain wondering what happened. That is what is so terribly wrong with our society.
Had you had the pleasure of knowing the man my friend was dreaming about, you would have known the excitement of being near him. He was a very unique man who possessed a passion for Christ like no one I have ever known. His life was totally about pointing people to Christ. But what many would never know that he was the same man even when there was no one there to adore him or get excited about him. Most never knew he could totally rebuild a car on the side of the road. He was late for a large State Convention of which he was moderator, because he stopped to help a stranded motorist on the highway. He came in with grease all over him….an hour late. People were getting up to leave when he arrived. Excitement returned.
Once when he attended a revival meeting I was conducting at a small church in Cleveland, Tennessee, I asked him to stand and address the congregation. He stood up and looked at them and said “Three cheers for the man on the donkey” Hip Hip Hooray!! Revival broke out for the next 20 nights. It wasn’t that he was excited about excitement. He was excited about the Lord whom he served and knew intimately.
So, I can see that man standing in the rain alone as he did on more occasions than one could imagine. He stood alone many times because he didn’t care about the excitement. He cared about the relationship. Many sold the whole excitement thing, but he promoted the infallibility of God’s word.
Lately, I was in a place of excitement. People were excited by the excitement. But after the program is finished and the lights go off and the chairs are folded and life goes back to “normal” and we are standing in the rain alone, who is there with us? He and He alone.
Get excited if you will, but not about a man. Be excited that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Thank you Bo Robinson for allowing me to use your inspiration today regarding D.H. Queener.