When my husband Brent and I were still living in Memphis, from time to time we enjoyed shelling out $5 to attend a Red Birds baseball game. I’ve never been much of a sports-person, but these were fun summer outings with friends, sitting on blankets in the grass of a brand new stadium while only marginally paying attention to the game.
On one occasion, Brent’s sister and her husband got four tickets to sit in actual seats, so we tagged along with them. The view was definitely better, and we had a great time. That is, until the people sitting behind us became overly excited about the game. Out of anger at a call or elation after a homerun—I can’t be for sure. All I remember is that one of the men behind us stood up all of a sudden and doused Brent and me with an entire cup of beer. We were completely soaked. He apologized profusely. He got us a hundred cocktail napkins to wipe off our hair and clothes, and he tried to buy us our own beers and stadium snacks, but we declined his gifts. We were pretty irritated.
Undaunted by our refusals, the man somehow found a stadium official. He told them about our ill-fated story and before we knew it, there was a microphone in front of me and my face bigger than life on the Jumbotron. The cheesy guy holding the microphone declared that I was The Fan of the Game, and he repeatedly called me “Miss Budweiser.” Then he gave me this big box with a ceiling fan in it (Get it? Fan of the Game…) with lights that looked like baseballs and fan blades that looked like baseball bats. If I didn’t have Brent to back me up, I’d say the whole thing was a wacky dream.
The only reason I was chosen to be the Fan of the Game was because of a man who was desperate to fix his mistake. I wasn’t really all that devoted of a fan. Anyone watching me on the Jumbotron, soaked and embarrassed, might think I was a loyal Red Birds supporter, but looks can be deceiving.
If someone spent a little time with you, what would they say you support? How would they finish this sentence: “You are a Fan of _____”? Jesus gives us some insight into this in Luke 6 with his metaphor about trees and their fruit.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
In other words, the most reliable way to tell what I’m a fan of and what I value most is the way I talk and act and live—my fruit. So it’s time for me to be intentional about growing good fruit.