For the first part of the Front 9 of my life I was a cheerleader. From being asked to be the mascot cheerleader of the local high school team when I was 5 and on through college, I was a cheerleader. I love to jump, scream and yell, in a good way, and I love to visibly see people get excited! When I was cheering at Clemson…one of the most chilling times was when we divided the squad and went to opposite ends of the stadium..one side would yell, “CLEMSON,” and then the other side, “TIGERS.” It was so loud…and when standing on the field….it was down right electrifying!
To this day…now as a fan/spectator…I sometimes have the urge to break away from the fans I am sitting around and lead a cheer…it is just in my blood! Sometimes when things are tense…and the outcome is questionable…and people around me are sitting–almost holding themselves–quiet and nervous, I want to start cheering.
I remember after cheering for a game I would be completely exhausted. I can’t imagine how the players must have felt after the extreme physical output and getting hit repeatedly. While cheering in college, I only took a hit one time….a flying bottle from the stands cold-cocked me in the eye….needless to say, I had a huge black eye…that immediately appeared…we were playing Georgia on Labor Day and the game was televised. I received a lot of TV time I was told….the comments were something like, “It looks like the cheerleader for Clemson has taken a few snaps!” The huge black eye on a cheerleader was pretty amusing!
I still love to cheer. I have “smiled many times to myself” during the second part of the “Front 9” of life. God orchestrated my life to be on the links, following our three kids….where screaming, yelling and loud cheering are not only frowned upon…it just isn’t done! There is a dramatic contrast… between the first 23 years of my life….dancing and cheering…and the next 30 years of walking, being extremely quiet for the better part of a day.
You see, we had three kids playing so on any given day I was watching more than 18 holes of golf…some days were 36 holes/9 hours. Never in a million years could I have pictured in my early twenties that I would be in a place of “NOT CHEERING LOUDLY!” In fact in golf…I was perplexed initially as I started to follow our kids in competition. After a well-played hole or someone in the group would do something great, I would hear another spectator say softly, “shot” or “putt”…it took me a while to understand this was a “cheer” on the golf course. I was like WHAT??????????? Seriously….when Brewer, Thomas or Collins…and someone they were playing with made a great shot or drained a long putt…I wanted to jump up and down, clap and do a little dance! NOT…a Big NOT…one of the most frustrating things I have ever had to conform to! Golf etiquette is something I admire…but it is the one thing…that frustrates me to this day.
Well, I must confess, there is this one time…I just had to cheer. In fact, it is a well-known moment to many people who play golf. It was in Hilton Head…at the Carolina’s Junior and Thomas made a “double eagle,” the rarest shot in golf….I was standing near the green and, of course, he was a long way off. It was a Par 5 and on his second shot…he drained it…3 under on one hole. I went running on the green to see if the ball was actually in the hole and when I saw it….I, without thought, did a “kick the habit” jump…and landed on. my. fannie. on the green for everyone to see. Seriously, everyone on 2 or 3 holes around turned to see me lying on the green. I wasn’t even embarrassed…I was so excited and I could finally be me…it was definitely a shot worth cheering about!
It makes me think of a story of David in 2 Samuel 6. He was worshiping God and in verse 14 it says, “And David danced before the Lord with all his might…” His wife wasn’t happy about the king’s display of worship. He goes on to say to her in verse 21, “…I will celebrate before the Lord.”
This particular story of David leads me to my point today. In the Back 9 of life…at 52…I am tired of not cheering, especially when I have something to cheer about that is way better than a “double eagle” or a win for Clemson. I serve a living God…who not only loves me…He loves you. He did the ultimate. He gave his life for me and for you. He is not dead. He is very much alive…and if I am not dead and you are not dead, then HE is NOT DONE!
In the Back 9, yep, I am cheering for God and I am dancing too. It Is my mission and call to live 2 Corinthians 9:2 where Paul is writing to the Corinthians saying that he has heard “their enthusiasm has stirred most of them into action.” I am inviting you to join me…allow your enthusiasm for what Christ has done for you and the hope that you have to “stir” others into action, a Relationship with Him. No longer is it ok with me…not to lift my hands in praise to God…the Author of my life and the Perfecter of my faith.
I pray the words of Psalm 150 challenge in your praise and worship of God today–use your everything to praise Him. “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”