Home field has its’ advantages. For one, home is where the heart is. Second, there’s no place like home. Third, playing in your home town tends to mean the fans are forcibly on your side. On the flip side, if you’re the visiting team, the fans don’t factor in your favor. Visiting teams must play in some very hostile havens, and the clamor and clatter of the fans can be distressing and disturbing, unsettling and unnerving, if you let it.
The answer? Crowd out the crowd noise. In sports, especially a professional football or basketball or baseball game, the crowd noise is another opponent. In some football stadiums, the fans, because of the impact they have on the game and the negative impact they have on the opposing team, are called the 12th Man. That means that the 11 players on the field have the aid and assistance of the shouting, screaming, howling and hollering fans yelling at the top of their lungs to encourage their team and discourage the opponent.
But here we must learn the lesson of crowd noise when we are “on the road” in difficult destinations and circuitous circumstances. Theologically speaking, crowd noise is equated to the dour and the din and sour of the sin that surrounds us on every side. The Apostle Paul may have said it best:
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, KJV). The Revised Standard Version puts it this way: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”
And the New Living Translation may put it best: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
So crowd out the crowd noise. Always remember and never forget, “we are never abandoned by God.” Don’t let the loudness of life get to you. Don’t let the racket and the ruckus rattle you. Quiet your spirit and settle your soul. Dig in but don’t dumb down. While the fans of your enemies cheer and jeer against you, you can shout for your God is with you. So trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out. Don’t worry and don’t fret; our God has never failed us yet.