Our local AF2 team, the Spokane Shock went to the Arena Cup for the second time in their three-season history. This year, hosting of the Cup was awarded to the team with the best record so we got to have the championship game in our sold out home stadium. What a crowd! Ten thousand six hundred fans screaming their guts out for the number 1 Spokane Shock, it was incredible… except for the fact that we lost by 1 point in overtime. I was dejected.
Now you have to understand that I am very invested in the Shock. My dad had the incredible good fortune to get three season tickets in the front row of the center section, really some of the best seats in the house. Plus, I did the audio editing for a lot of the in-game audio including a crafty edit in my own voice that turned Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ into ‘We Will Shock You.’ Not only that but my brother-in-law and I did all of the ribbon board graphics and much of the promo video, and we often do other projects with the voice of the Shock, Dave Mason.
During these first 3 seasons of the Spokane Shock I have only missed 1 home game, and that was only so I could go to one of my friends’ 40th birthday party. When the Shock went to and won the Arena Cup in their inaugural season it was held in Puerto Rico so I couldn’t attend. I was disappointed but glad that they won. Imagine my excitement when the league announced that they were awarding the Arena Cup hosting to the team with the best record. I was elated to have the opportunity to watch the Shock win the Arena Cup from the front row of our home field… except they didn’t win.
So there I was, lying in bed at 12:30 in the morning tossing and turning with regret over the win that got away from us. Ears still ringing from the overwhelming noise I just couldn’t help but think ‘What If?’ What if we would have stopped the clock on the last play of the second half? What if we hadn’t gone for it on 4th and 10? I just couldn’t believe it, to come so close and fail by 1 point? I was beside myself. I kept lying on one side then the other trying desperately to forget this hurt, to forget this disappointment. I just need to go to sleep and everything will be OK in the morning. But my head was pounding, there was a sorrow and a rage that I just couldn’t shake. How could this happen? How could we get so close and lose heart? How could we do great all season and lose the game when everything is on the line, in front of the home crowd?
Then like water cooling the fires of self-pity I heard the Lord say to me, “This is how I feel toward the lost all the time. With time running short and the souls of so many on the line how is it that our team is coming up short? The love of many is growing cold and they aren’t giving it their all. Who will stand up, stop thinking of themselves and look to the harvest? Who will defend my Name against those who mock and accuse and against those who wear my name in an unworthy manner? Who will speak the truth?”
“I will,” I whispered. “I will.”
“Hurry,” He encouraged, “there isn’t much time.”