Read Psalm 100.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth!” (v. 1)
Thanks to the crowd noise, the Texas Longhorns once committed football suicide in Kyle Field. The 1985 game between the Aggies and the Horns was one of the most hyped and anticipated games in the storied series. Both teams were ranked, and to the winner went the conference title and a trip to the Cotton Bowl.
The frenzied A&M fans “cheered the punters in warm-ups as if they were rock stars,” and the noise got louder and more intimidating by kickoff. The first half, however, was rather pedestrian.
In the second quarter, Aggie Hall-of-Famer Kevin Murray hit wide receiver Jeff Nelson with a 10-yard touchdown toss, the only score of the half. Despite the lack of offensive firepower, the “electricity in the stands remained palpable.” The crowd’s finest hour lay ahead, though.
Murray and his receivers connected for three touchdown passes in the third quarter, each score sending “the already rocking stadium into a frenzy” that would not subside. Sensing the kill, the Aggie fans moved in. As a roar “cascad[ed] down the three decks of Kyle Field,” the Texas quarterback made a fatal mistake. He “refused to snap the ball until the din subsided.” But it didn’t; it only got worse (or better for the Aggies). “With each passing minute of delay, [the Texas QB] looked to the referee for help. There was none.” The Horns were simply overwhelmed by “the howls that filled the stadium,” and Texas never recovered.
“It was the worst thing he could have done,” Murray observed. “He committed suicide by waiting to snap the ball.”
When the game was over, the Aggie crowd was still yelling. A&M was headed to the Cotton Bowl with a 42-10 stomping of the Longhorns.
Whether you’re at an Aggie game live or watching on TV, you no doubt have contributed to the crowd noise generated by tens of thousands of fans or just your buddies. You’ve probably been known to whoop it up pretty good at some other times in your life, too. The birth of your first child. The concert of your favorite band. That fishing trip when you caught that big ole bass.
But how many times have you ever let loose with a powerful shout to God in celebration of his love for you? Though God certainly deserves it, he doesn’t require that you walk around waving pompoms and shouting “Yay, God!” He isn’t particularly interested in having you arrested as a public menace.
No, God doesn’t seek a big show or a spectacle. A nice little “thank you” is sufficient when it’s delivered straight from the heart and comes bearing joy. That kind of noise carries all the way to Heaven; God hears it even if nobody else does.
I remember coming out of the locker room and feeling the stadium shaking. The 12th Man towels were everywhere. -- Linebacker Johnny Holland on the ‘85 Texas game
The noise God likes to hear is a heartfelt “thank you,” even when it’s whispered.