Tim Wildmon | AFA President
AFA Journal, October, 1995)
When I was a kid my dad used to order season tickets to Mississippi
State football games. They would arrive in the mail in the late
summer and he would show them to me. I would look at them and hold
them, counting down the days until we would load up the car and
drive to Jackson or Starkville to watch the Bulldogs play. Those
cool, crisp Saturday afternoons in October and November of yesteryear
are fond memories.
Now, years later, Dad doesnt go to games much anymore. He
listens to them on the radio or watches them on television, but
I still go. Now I take my oldest son, Wesley, who is six. I have
taken Wesley from time to time the last couple of years, but he
has never really had any interest in the games (basketball or football).
I had a tough time figuring this out. I just thought it was genetic
or something that my son would enjoy sporting events the way I did.
But it has been hard to get him to go with me, and he hasnt
shared my enthusiasm for the games. Usually he asks a few minutes
into the game when were going home. (I attribute some of this
to his youth, and he may well be burned out given the fact that
he attended his first college football game when he was not quite
five months old.)
Well, I talked him into going to the first game of the season.
Just Wesley and me. We got to the stadium and the pregame festivities
were enough to hold his attention. This is great, I thought, Wesley
is finally starting to enjoy coming with me. Then sure enough, after
about a quarter he asked when we were going home. I answered him
once or twice with the standard "It will be over in a while, do
you want a Coke" line.
But after a couple of delay-tactic answers, something new came
to my mind. A profound thought it was. I thought to myself that
Wesley doesnt understand whats going on down there on
the field. All he sees is a bunch of people in uniforms running
wildly around on a painted field with a ball, hitting each other,
stopping occasionally to separate because some guys dressed like
zebras run around blowing whistles and waving their arms. And as
for the people in the stands, including my dad, they make loud noises,
clap their hands and yell things at the people on the field who
cant hear a word they are saying because everyone is trying
to talk or yell at once. Thats football
through Wesleys eyes. If I were Wesley, I would want to know
when we were going home, too. In the words of Ricky Ricardo, I needed
to do a little "splainin" to Wesley.
"Do you know whats going on out there, Wesley?"
He shook his head no.
"Let me tell you," I said. "You see the Bulldogs in maroon and
you see the Tigers in blue, well.
I took about 10 minutes and explained in as simple terms as possible
(which is not hard for me) the object of the game, the meaning and
purpose for the actions. I pointed out the scoreboard, the clock
and how to score points. I taught him as the action went along.
He didnt grasp everything, by any means, but he did begin
to watch the action and ask questions of me. He was now somewhat
interested in the game. He didnt ask again when we were going
Understanding is the first key to making a difference. I would
add two more wisdom and involvement.
The Holy Scriptures say a lot about understanding and wisdom. About
insight and knowledge. In I Chronicles 12:32 we find the story of
the different groups of men who were to fight with David against
the Philistines and the different strengths each group possessed.
One group were called the "men of Issachar" who had "understanding
of the times to know what Israel ought to do.
If we are Christians we need to ask God to open our eyes so that
we may know what to do in America to defend our families and Christian
principles against the popular culture. We must be on the field,
not on the sidelines.
If we ask God for understanding, He will give it to us. The Bible
says there is a great spiritual war going on between the forces
of good (God) and evil (Satan). If we believe this, then what are
we doing for our side? Are we praying for America and our leaders?
Are we voting for candidates of character and conviction? Are we
supporting through prayer and when possible financial
support groups like AFA and others standing up for moral values?
Are we writing letters or making phone calls on a moral issue? How
about volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center?
None of us can do it all. But let me encourage you to pray and
do what you can to make our country a better place to live and raise
a family. And pray daily for understanding and wisdom. Youll
find out, as Wesley did, that things will be a whole lot more interesting
And, oh yes, State won the game.