During the summer of 1984, the Minnesota Vikings had a charity basketball team that travelled to my hometown in St. Cloud for a game against the St. Cloud Police at Halenbeck Hall. At some point my older brother and I decided to attend and after the game we decided to sneak into the locker room…yep we did :).
I was 8 and my brother Todd was 15 when we went through the Field house to a back door, up a set of stairs and found ourselves in the middle of about 10 oversized men in the showers.
We wasted no time as we went from player to player asking for autographs. Everyone was happy to oblige as they stood around in their towel…or less.
Perhaps my most memorable signing was from Cutis ‘Boo Boo’ Rouse. At the time he was the largest player in the National Football League and I was small for an 8 year old. I remember he asked me a few questions, signed my paper and then I was off to the next guy. I can only imagine what he was thinking about me coming up to him for his autograph…in the locker room.
After getting our fill of autographs…we realized how out of place we really were. Our only option was to act like we belonged (which would have been impossible) or figure out some way to get out of there. Up until then I think we had an adrenaline rush…but soon after getting the autographs we were in a strange locker room where an 8 and 15 year old were clearly out of place.
We had two options…retrace our steps out the back door or keep moving through the locker room and head out the front door.
We opted for the front door…and that is when we were confirmed that we were totally out of place.
As we exited, we were met with what seemed like hundreds of people at the entrance just hoping for an autograph. I’m pretty sure we just laughed to ourselves as we fought our way through the crowds and back to our bikes to head home after an unforgettable evening with the Minnesota Vikings.
There is no doubt that if there was a security guard, he would have quickly shown us the exit because we simply didn’t belong in the locker room with the Minnesota Vikings.
It is never easy to face the reality that we don’t belong…which brings us to my sermon. This Sunday, we are going to finish up Romans 9. The underlying truth of this chapter is about belonging. However it has nothing to do with a locker room and everything to do with the family of God.
Like my brother and I, there is nothing we could have done to earn the right to be in that locker room, but unlike my brother and I, there is no sneaking in to the family of God…but there is a way in and that is what we will cover on Sunday from Romans 9:24-33.