There is a different feel to Gainesville this week, especially noticeable today. There is anticipation in the air. It's real. You can almost feel it. It's quiet, yet you hear the noise building. It still, but there's a restlessness that is stirring. The anticipated day is almost here. For those who are not college football fans, doubt you are reading this if you are not, the Tennessee Vols come to town tomorrow to play the Gators in the Swamp. That means it's SEC football time in Gainesville!
That would usually be enough to make it a special weekend, but this year the intensity in the rivalry has been jacked up a notch or twenty because of the comments by the new coach of the Vols, Lane Kiffin, AKA Lame Kitten in these parts! If you haven't read them or heard them, they you really aren't a sports fan and probably just need to skip to the last paragraph. If you have heard them you probably have your opinion on them. Much like those who disagree with Kayne's outburst many feel that it was brash, arrogant, and maybe a little stupid to call out Coach Meyer and the Gators. Others think he was just firing up his fan base or trying to make a name for Tennessee football on the national scene. Some even say he was trying to make the Vols relevant again in the discussion of big time college football. There is only one problem I have had with his comments. Ready? He hasn't done squat yet! He started running his mouth before he ever coached his players. I'm sure he had seen some film, looked at the guys in meetings, and maybe even saw them workout, but they hadn't thrown a pass, made a block, or made a guy miss even. His personal coaching record is nothing to make you go wow. Yeah, he was on a great staff at USC, but since then he's gotten fired and accused of lying by his boss. So how does running your mouth make you relevant?
Those who know me know I'm not a fan of the Miami Hurricane football team. But after last night's beating of Georgia Tech, they are relevant again in the discussion of ACC champions and maybe even for a trip to Pasadena. That's the way to make your program relevant again. Win the big games on National TV! You can't talk your way back to swagger U, you only get that from your play on the field. Hard as it is for me to say, maybe Lame could learn some things from Randy Shannon. (That will help him more than I will ever know!) And that's an inside joke for some!
That got me thinking that we inside the church often talk about the way young unbelievers view the church as irrelevant for their lives and then talk about ways to make the church more relevant today. Maybe we should take a page from the Miami playbook and start working out our faith in the real world. It's a lot harder than just talking about it in a press conference or holding a series of meeting to discuss it. If there is to be a real Great Commission Resurgence it certainly won't happen because someone stands up in Nashville and proclaims it so! It will only happen as we who are Southern Baptists and other christians get out into the world and serve and love others the way Jesus commands us to do it. We will see what happens tomorrow in Gainesville between the Gators and the Vols, my guess is that Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes will lead the team to make sure Kitten's words come back to haunt him, but you never know. Let's hope that we take a different path in attempting to make the church relevant for the students on our campuses today!