Around here, we love our athletics.
Right now, it's football, baby.
We support our teams...well, most of us do. We traveled to a large town last Friday night...large enough that it had TWO high schools. They had a great turf field and nice facilities. But, they had very little fan support. Even the section where the seats are "reserved" was nearly empty. Seriously? Because people pay for those seats...typically those seats are in the section on the 50 yard line. The booster club will "sell" those seats as a fundraiser, and you can sit in those seats for Varsity home games all year.
The visitor stands, on the other hand...PACKED.
And we had to drive over 2 hours to get there.
Not gonna lie...I love away games. We spend the week planning when we will leave and what we'll need to wear (because of the weather). Do we need blankets? Rain gear? Snacks? (that's always a YES!)
There's a camaraderie out there on the drive. I was thinking about it Friday night. We would pass cars and look to see if they were wearing our school colors..."they're going to the game!" Or, when cars would pass us, we'd look to see if they had a sticker in the window. If they did, we'd nod or wave. It was exciting, seeing everyone heading in the same direction...for the same reason. Of course, some of the parents might have been going to support cheerleaders or band members...I totally get that. You're talking to someone who went to every home and away football game but one last year...and Clark was injured and stood on the sidelines the majority of the season.
But he got to travel with the team...and so we went to support him.
We stopped for gas on the way home after the game. It was late, but the station was buzzing with activity. No matter what colors you're wearing or which team you support, there's a sense of community at the gas stations and restaurants after a game. I mean, gotta have gas...gotta eat...am I right? You might just look and smile...or nod. If they look friendly, you might say, "how'd y'all do?" My husband would say that. He knows just about everyone (or it seems that way!), and no matter where we are or what prompts the conversation, it's pretty likely that he will find a common connection or know someone that they know.
That's the South.
After we got gas and went through a drive-thru, I told Jim I would drive home. I really didn't mind. It was a clear night. Jim and Joshua ate, and then Jim promptly fell asleep. Joshua was looking up game scores on his phone. I could see him in my rear-view mirror. The reflection on his face from the light on his phone made him look like an alien. Or, as my kids used to say, "alient."
His face looked like an alient.
But I drove in silence for the most part. I passed cars...cars passed me. We all knew why we were out there, and we all knew where we were going...HOME.
I thought a lot about the events of the week...about Bailee, and how thankful I am that she will be okay; About my own kids...and how I couldn't WAIT to see my college boy and give him a big hug; How life, just like the road that was in front of me, has twists and turns and bumps along the way...some of our own choosing, and some that just pop up out of nowhere; How God sees what is ahead before we do; And about really how small we humans are in the big scheme of things; How the moon and stars go on forever, and yet God named them all. Yes, He named them all...but He loved us all, and sent His Son to DIE for us (John 3:16).
Feeling very thankful tonight.
"He counts the stars and calls them all by name." Psalm 147:4