So...I have a confession...I am a Thunder fan. Like a big one. Being here in Istanbul, I have even set alarms (sometimes unsuccessfully) to wake up and watch the Thunder games that are happening while I am over here. Part of my day involves reading stat lines and seeing what awesome thing the organization is doing in the community (because seriously, one of the best things about the Thunder is how well they love the people of Oklahoma).
A few months ago, my girlfriend, Emily, and I were asking each other random questions we found on the internet to try and learn new quirks about the other. For instance, Emily would rather have her head be the size of a grapefruit than a watermelon, just FYI. One of the questions that came up was what is your favorite sports team, out of every sport? After thinking briefly, I said, "the Thunder" and this actually surprised Em. "Not the [St. Louis] Cardinals?" she asked. And I must admit, the Cardinals are a very close second, but I said the Thunder because I live in OKC.
The Thunder are a part of the community in Oklahoma City. It is not strange to go to a restaurant and run into a player, coach, or other member of the organization. The city, and even the state, loves the Thunder. It's a point of unity for the people and a regular topic of conversation. If I were living in Missouri, where I grew up, without a doubt I would say the Cardinals, because they serve as a unifier in the state (although I must congratulate the Royals on their World Series win a couple days ago).
In talking with people about this, I've learned that I have chosen one over the other because I am surrounded by people who help stir my affections for one or the other. Last Wednesday, it was funny to scroll through my Facebook feed because it was extremely evident where everyone was from. I had a large group who were posting #TaketheCrown and Go Royals for the World Series from Missouri, and than a large group who were rejoicing in excitement about the return of Thunder season that day.
So what does that mean for my spiritual life? Am I surrounding myself with people who are stirring my affections for the Gospel? Or am I with people who simply see church or Christianity as something to do on a Sunday morning and the occasional Wednesday night?
I was reading in John the other day and was in John 8:31 where Jesus says, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples," And I started thinking, what does it mean to abide? I began doing definition searches and seeing where else the term was used in scripture and time and time again, the definition came up as "to live in" Jesus is calling us to live in His word, and not simply just visit it from time to time.
If you live in something, it becomes a part of you. Abiding in Istanbul for 3 months, it has become a part of me. Living with my roommate Liam in OKC for almost 2 years, he has become a part of me. Spending most of my junior high and high school years with Tim Howe at my side, he has become a part of me. Living in Oklahoma City, I choose the Thunder over the Cardinals.
So my question is, what do you live in?