As a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader I experienced the hyper electric atmosphere of 65,000 + people passionately engaging in the success, fame and glory of America’s Team.
I remember what it felt like to wear the iconic DCC uniform: simultaneously terrifying and thrilling. Years of hard work, preparation and dreaming led up to the event of actually putting it on. If only people knew how much blood, sweat and tears existed behind that star spangled uniform and the make-up, hair, nails, and spray tan!
I recollect anxiously waiting in the tunnel at the bottom of ginormous Texas Stadium…ready to explode onto the field! Adrenaline surged through my body when the announcer’s voice boomed:
“And now, ladies and gentlemen, here they are, America’s sweethearts! The often imitated, never equaled, internationally acclaimed, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!”
Go! Go! Go!! The music blared, the bass shook me from head to toe, and my heart beat out of my chest as our team danced with super charged energy onto the biggest stage known to man. I will never forget the excitement created by all of those people cheering their guts out for the Dallas Cowboys organization. The intensity level in that place was astronomical.
When people resonate with and understand what they’re cheering for, the intensity level proportionately escalates.
Everyone understands worldly success, fame and glory. So much so that we can go absolutely nuts at a football game, for instance. We want our team to win…to dominate…to be the best. Eric Simons, author of The Secret Lives of Sports Fans: The Science of Sports Obsession, explains that, “People like sports because it’s exciting. People like sports because, like the theater, it is a venue for emotional expression. People like sports because they need an escape from real-world troubles. People like sports because it provides a sense of belonging, a connection to a wider world.”
We understand the excitement of competition, athletic talent, multi billion dollar net worth, scads of super fans, sex appeal, awards, achievements, titles and all the power that comes with those things. I certainly understood it at a very young age. I dreamed of being a part of it all…and worked my booty off (literally) to earn a spot on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader’s squad.
Interestingly though, when I was living it, I did not handle the pressure of the position or the accompanying praise very well. I was terribly insecure and overwhelmed. Although I clamored to obtain a spot on a pedestal, I tumbled off of it time and time again. The need to relieve the pressure was a problem for me…and I was drawn to destructive vices to try and relieve that pressure. However, I do not regret being a DCC, oh not at all! I have amazing memories and made wonderful friends, and I’m truly grateful for that extra special time in my life.
I’m just saying, I’ve learned that nobody handles that kind of attention very well…if we claim it as our own. Unfortunately the news is full of stories of celebrities crumbling under the crushing pressure of their success, fame and glory. People were not meant to handle all of that. Only God was meant to be worshipped! Nobody being worshipped can live up to it, and the ones worshipping others will always be sorely disappointed.
Please hear this: I’m not saying it’s wrong to be successful, famous, glorious or powerful. People can do a lot of good for God with those things…but I do know it’s right to know that it all belongs to God. He gives people their gifts, talents and blessings and ability to breathe, move and live. People can only reflect God’s glory. If we point it back to Him we are much better off. Much!
Nobody needs a pedestal–but we all need grace:-) God and God alone belongs on the throne of our heart. When we resonate with and understand God and Who He Is, our intensity of worship of Him proportionately escalates!
One night I was leading worship at a conference, and a heavy sadness came over me when I could see that people were truly apathetic. The Lord showed me that if they understood His love and really knew Him, they would not be apathetic. Instead they would overflow with great love and passion in their worship for Him.
In the Bible David is an amazing example of a passionate worshipper:
2 Samuel 6:16 “…David was leaping and dancing with all his might before the Lord.”
As the story goes, David’s wife, Michal, saw him worshipping and she was disgusted. The Bible says she “despised him in her heart.” Then she mocked him and questioned him. In verse 21 & 22 David said to Michal, “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes…”
I think it’s very interesting that the inspired Word Of God includes Michal’s reaction to David’s worship. No one bats an eye when people cheer like crazy for worldly success, fame, and glory, but if you worship God with that same level of passion…people might think you’ve totally lost it.
We understand cheering for our favorite team, but do we really understand praising and worshipping our God? It’s about loving Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind.
The more we know God…the more we spend time with Him and learn who He is…the more we will understand Him and love Him. Supreme success, fame and glory belong to Him! When we connect with Him we experience His love and realize our true meaning and purpose. Then our worship will be passionate–we won’t be able to contain it!
All of these truths came full circle for me when I went back to Dallas for a Cowboys Cheerleader reunion a few years ago. I stood on that great big field, with all of the amazing fanfare and thousands of excited people…but this time…I raised my glittering silver pom-poms to the sky, and I praised my Lord and Savior! What a Revelation!! I had a blast! I felt completely secure and free in His love.
My heart finally got it!
See, when it’s all abut me, happiness will flee. But when it’s all about God–It is pure joy! The grandeur of that place and all of those people made me think of His majesty that far surpasses anything we could ever dream of. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
If you’re looking for excitement, for emotional expression, for escape from problems, for a sense of belonging, for being a part of something bigger than yourself…
And worldly success, fame and glory (whatever that looks like for you) are leaving you unfulfilled…
Try putting all of that at the foot of the cross and seek God and only God! He is the answer. He is the only one worthy of our worship. And He will fulfill you through and through!
But seek first God’s Kingdom, and
his righteousness; and all these
things will be given to you as well.