One of the many reasons I love high school and college sports is being able to be a spectator of the lively and belligerent student sections. You could say that I am a mesmerized fan of the rowdiness and hilarity that a student section offers. During my oldest daughter’s high school soccer career she has been both the victim of a home team’s student section and a participant of her own home school’s student section. I personally love all student sections. The unrulier they are the better…as long as no one is getting hurt, that is.
I was always impressed when students took the time to obtain the roster from the visiting team in order to learn the names, jersey numbers and stats. That takes pure dedication. I have seen crafty students construct chants using names of the other team’s players in order to get into their headspace and hopefully make them lose their concentration. One of the famed tactics at Natchitoches Central was for the student section to be casually reading the newspaper as the visiting team was introduced on the court. They have even been known to dress as tacky tourists and to don their best toga attire on occasion.
There has been many points given up in the names of distraction and embarrassment.
To the contrary, when those very same student athletes come anywhere near their own home section, the cheering takes on a life of its on. This is where they get built back up and encouraged to carry on the fight to win. There is nothing to be seen except pure innocent school spirit and exhortation. The home team cheering section can make the student athletes feel like they can accomplish anything. You will constantly hear affirming cheers of, “You got this! You can do it! You’re amazing!”
It is food for the athlete’s soul when they hear the refreshing sounds in a home cheering section.
In the game of life, are you sitting in someone’s student section or the home team section? Are you waiting for people to fail and intensely hoping that they fail so big that a whole stadium will laugh? Are you playing on their insecurities and waiting for them to drop the ball? Are you loaded with insults and judgements that are ready to be used in a moments notice? Do you stand up and cheer when they are down in life? It takes a lot of negative energy and preparation to sit in this section. You have to study your opponents and play on their weakness.
There is not much peace in this section and it is very crowded.
Or, are sitting in their home team section and cheering them on so they can continue on their path? Are you sending shouts of acclimations because you know that God will bless them and bless you for being an encourager of others? Are you there as a support system to help them grow and become the child of God that they are meant to be? Do you motivate them and help them feel confident? Are you providing feedback to help them meet their goals and reach others? Do you offer a peaceful place of rest just like an oasis in the desert?
They are lots of empty seats in this section.
We are called to a higher purpose in life and it is to love your brothers and sisters. We are not called to be in a petty student section of life where we cannot grow and help those around us. We are called to be encouragers and set examples for our children and those around us. Imagine how we would be as a church and a community if we only had home team sections.
If you find yourself stuck in the student section all too often, it is not too late to change seats. Seats are not assigned, it is general admission.
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another just as you are also doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11