THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!
And if you’re wondering what that announcement has to do with words to the weary, I must tell you that I started writing this blog in my mind as I lay awake in the middle of the night after the Eagles’ win. So it must be divine inspiration, right? (Keep reading to decide for yourself if that’s true!)
I was a big sports fan even before I graduated from THE Ohio State University. It’s fascinating how schools, especially ones the size of Ohio State and Penn State, have far better winning records at home. Their 100,000+-seat football stadiums filled with cheering crowds give them something called “home-field advantage.” Studies show home teams on average win 55%-70% of the time (and this phenomenon is not limited to football or colleges).
Several years ago the Boston Red Sox started the season 22-5 at home, with pitcher Roy Oswalt posting a 10-0 record at Fenway Park. When our middle daughter played basketball at Houghton (N.Y.) College, her team was 32-0 at home.
Which brings me back to “my” Eagles, who, as the top team in their division, competed at home for all their playoff games.
Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni predicted the advantage like this: “Our crowd inspires us. Our crowd makes it difficult for the opposing team with how much communication that has to happen…It’s going to be loud. We’ll feed off that…”
Sunday’s Philly crowd of almost 70,000 roared at 95 decibels most of the Eagles’ 31-7 win. (Not to brag, but our family’s “crowd” of 7 adults and 7 children hit 91 decibels during our off-key rendition of “Fly, Eagles Fly!”)
Sports psychologists don’t know for sure why the home team tends to win, but surmise that the presence of people who feel for us and with us helps bring out the best in us. Their cheers convey: “We care. We think you’re great. We’re proud of you.” And athletes respond by giving their best.
It’s the same way when we’re going through life’s trials, (which can bring out the worst in us). Having friends and family “cheer” us on can bring out the best in us: home-field advantage!
It doesn’t matter how tough, strong, independent we are—the Bible says we shouldn’t try to go it alone.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble…
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.
Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”--Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
We need to be willing to allow others to come along side and help us even though we probably would rather be on the giving end than the receiving. It’s humbling to let a friend scrub your toilets, mow your yard, or drive you to a doctor’s appointment, but when we turn down acts of kindness, we’re robbing others the joy of giving!
I hope as you face sickness or other life struggles, that you’re welcoming friends and family as your “cheering” crowd. Otherwise, it’s like choosing to play all your games away—no home-field advantage!
And if you’re blessed not to be facing any trials right now, please ask God to show you someone whose load you could lighten by cheering them on–maybe you’ll even hit 95 decibels!
I hope you’re encouraged by this Michael W. Smith song “I Will Carry You.”