It’s the most wonderful time of the year….Bowl Season. Let me start by saying I am a die hard Clemson fan! Anyone who talks to me for more than 23 seconds knows that I love love love college football. As I was listening to the “experts’ ” commentary on the upcoming games, I was reminded why no one likes a bandwagon fan*. What is a bandwagon fan? “Anyone who claims they are a fan of a particular sports team, even though they had no prior support for/interest in the team until that team started winning. These types of fans only show playoff interest, have probably never watched a regular season game, don’t own any type of team merchandise, nor would they buy any.”
People who are genuine fans are fans win or lose. To put it nicely, bandwagon fans only become fans when the team is winning or has won a championship. The team has to prove themselves. Bandwagon fans do not believe in a team without proof. And this my friends is precisely why no one likes a bandwagon fan. They have no faith and are disloyal. If the team ever loses, goes through a tough time, has injuries, etc. these folks pack up and leave town faster than Sammy Watkins going for the deep ball. You cannot depend on them. (As a side note, these lecherous creatures are not exclusive to sports. If you have ever been fortunate enough to be in the spotlight for anything positive, you can always find bandwagon fans posing as friends too. In this scenario they are known as “Fairweather Friends.”)
Even worse than bandwagon fans are those whose dogged denial in the beginning leads to an irrational refusal to see the truth because of pride. Even with a championship, they find all kinds of illegitimate reasons for the team’s success. These people are known as Haters. Haters disregard the mounting evidence, they desperately search for any semblance of a fact that can prove them correct. At long last when the team is the last one standing, holding the trophy, Haters grudgingly acknowledge the championship.
No one wants support solely because they are winning. No one wants friends just because they did something great. We want to be surrounded by people who believe in us no matter the circumstances. Win or lose. Just for who we are.
If you require absolute proof then what you show isn’t faith. Faith is believing in the things you cannot see. Every single person who has accomplished anything big in this world, good or evil, has done so because of faith. Long before most of the world could conceive of electricity, Thomas Edison believed that he could make his vision a reality. Long before the world knew that a simple cartoon mouse could become a family entertainment empire, Walt Disney believed that his talent and vision would be actualized. Long before the world had ever dreamed that a ragtag army from a distant territory of England could challenge and defeat the world’s largest superpower, our founders were drafting the documents of freedom that have had (and continue to have) profound effects not just here but around the whole world. History teaches time and again that belief comes before the miracle. First believe then you get proof. Those who are late to the party are left on the outside looking in.
And our God is much the same. One day everyone will know without a doubt He is real. They will know His power. They will know He is the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Sadly, by that time it will be too late for those “bandwagon fans” who have been waiting on absolute proof. God is going to give absolute proof of Himself, but it will be when He comes to judge. Those who have believed when the circumstances did not look good, those who believed and stood firm in that belief will be rewarded. Those who denied Him will likewise be denied by Him.
God will only accept the hearts of those who willingly choose to give their hearts to Him. We are the same. I know of no one who wants “fairweather friends.” I imagine the desire for true devotion is an accurate reflection of God’s image in humans. After all, we are made in His image.
And just like the team on its way to the championship, there are plenty of signs, signals, indicators and even proof for God’s existence and power for those who are willing to see the truth. The real question is not “Does God exist?”, but will you believe before its too late?