Longing for the Cheap Seats

I am a huge University of Tennessee Volunteer fan, both in size (I’m a big guy) and in passion. We haven’t had a lot to cheer recently, but I think that this is about to change. I’m an optimist.

Last year I was blessed to have 2 tickets to several UT men’s basketball games.  I took my wife, a few relatives, and a couple of friends. But the best part of it was that I was able to take all of my kids to one game each.

It was when Jonathan went with me that one of the neatest things happened. Yes, I still use the word neat. Don’t judge me.

Through a strange turn of events we were able to trade our tickets for tickets to seats just 3 rows up from the floor. We made it down to our new seats just seconds before the game started.

I was elated. I had never sat in better seats and I was with my son who is the biggest sports fan out of all my kids. I looked at him and saw a huge smile cross his face.

“What do you think about sitting here, buddy? Pretty awesome, huh?”

“Yeah,” he said. Then he pointed way up toward the corner of the 20,000+ seat arena. “But I wish we could sit up there.”

There we were, sitting close to the action near the court and he wants to sit in a place where everyone on the court would look similar -to orange-and-white-clad ants.  I couldn’t believe it.

Until I sensed God say “Christians are just like that sometimes–you’re just like that sometimes.”

We can be in a good place of service. We can be spiritually where others wish that they could be. We can be right in the middle of a lot of action and excitement.

And we can grow discontent.

We can look somewhere else and wish that we were there even though where we are is really much better.

What’s wrong with us? Why can’t we be happy with where we are and what we have?

There is nothing wrong with ambition if it is driven by the right things. Sadly, this isn’t often the case. We often long for what we don’t have simply because we don’t have it.

We need to be like the Apostle Paul. We need to learn to be content.

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content
Philippians 4:11

Contentment doesn’t come naturally nor does it come easily.

It is learned.

Sometimes it is learned the hard way–by having everything stripped from us.

May we seek to learn contentment the easy way–by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us.

If we are sitting where God wants us to sit, we need enjoy the view and stop longing for the cheap seats.

What is the neatest sports-related thing that has ever happened to you?
Why do you think we are often so discontent?




18 thoughts on “Longing for the Cheap Seats

  1. Well there was the time in school…I was the lone catcher in the oufield, when a high flying ball of iron came my way…I was wearing a good size glove too! I reached up for it and caught it…with the ungloved hand.

    Your seating arrangement reminds me of going to see a blockbuster movie on opening weekend…all seats are taken except for the ones on the bottom…right in front of the screen…even though it’s a good movie, you just wish you were up higher to get the best view…

  2. Why are we so discontent? We’re conditioned by our churches to be discontent. We’re told that God wants to bless us, to gift us, to have us live life to the fullest. We celebrate in churches the people who make the “big” differences and the biggest pastors have the biggest churches with the biggest incomes. You can’t help but be discontent when you can’t measure up.

    Neatest sports related thing? I was able to watch the Tigers take batting practice on the field at Tiger Stadium in it’s last season. That was pretty cool.

    • Yeah–I hear you. I try to convey the truth that pretty much all of those closest to God in the Bible were those that suffered the most. People don’t like to hear this, but it is still true.

  3. My dad used to work for a security firm in Pittsburgh and I got to sit close to the Pirate dugout and got a tour of some of the “closed-to-the-public” areas. Plus I got an autographed baseball by some of the players.

    I think we are discontent because we are “wired” that way. “Godliness & contentment is great gain.” I think they go hand in hand.

  4. Neatest thing…

    I’ve had a few: Met Bonds and Griffey Jr when I was high school. Had a baseball scholarship too.

    As far as being discontent I think it’s difficult for some because that means that they are not in control. And to be honest most discontentment issues stem from entitlement issues. For example, “God has to bless me because I did…” Which is completely wrong.

  5. I am probably the only guy on the face of the planet not into sports, so I don’t really have any good sports-related stories. Except that when I’m in the zone, I KILL at bags. No joke.

    As far as why we are discontent – I think it’s because we’re taught early on that we need to compare ourselves to others. We’re not smart enough unless we are as smart as that person, or pretty enough unless we look like that, or rich enough unless we live in that house. It’s all about comparing to what someone else has.

  6. A few years ago, my friend’s boyfriend got us ridiculously good seats at the White Sox game. We were able to sit by the warning track before the game and watch everyone warm up on the field. Mere yards away stood my favorite player Jermaine Dye. He was throwing the ball back and forth, looking good, when he glanced into the warning track area, made eye contact with me, smiled and waved. I almost died! Then I couldn’t stop laughing. The only way that night could have been better is if the Sox had won. Oh well!

  7. I really think that “neat” is generally underutilized.

    The neatest thing was getting to attend a Seahawks football game the year they went to the Super Bowl. Amazing energy.

    I think we are discontent because we want what we can’t have. That might sound redundant, but it’s our human/sin nature to never be satisfied.

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