TRADITION.  “The transmission of custom or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.”  As the calendar turns to September the pageantry, excitement, and traditions of football churn into gear.

For many of you it’s the memories of your hometown on Friday nights in the fall.  The lights at dusk, the crisp air, and warm chili.  For others it means amazing Saturday afternoons in the fall with natures foliage on display, tailgates, and watch parties.  Finally so we cover the entire weekend, it means Sunday afternoons at Arrowhead, grilling, and tracking your ever dominant fantasy football team.

The traditions and culture surrounding the sport are every bit as impactful and memorable as the games themselves.  Some of these customs remind us of something intangible and comforting, some have extraordinary meaning, and some – while maybe not the best for us – let’s face it, are just plain fun.

Growing up in Nebraska in the 80’s and 90’s, football definitely made its way into my life.  One of the meaningful traditions at Memorial Stadium was for the fans in the stadium to give the opposing team; win, lose, or draw, a standing ovation as they walked off the field after the game.

The following link is a story on Iowa football fans in Kinnick Stadium.  I strongly encourage you to watch it HERE.

In summary, the 75,000 fans in the stadium turn to the newly built Children’s Hospital tower overlooking the stadium and wave to the children and their families after the first quarter.  It happened during the home opener this year, and I sure hope it becomes a tradition because it’s just flat out pretty neat.

It is amazing how such a simple act can become a tradition.  Traditions tend to evolve into a culture.  Maybe while waving to the hospital there is a spontaneous silent prayer in their hearts for those suffering and battling an illness, maybe they follow up the next week or month by bringing a meal to the families of those patients, or perhaps they feel moved to give a donation to their local Ronald McDonald House.  Or maybe they just get lost in the moment and -even if briefly – they just stand there and wave.  Their hearts are the better for it.

A recent YBIC blog brings up many interesting points and facts on the vocations crisis in the world today (read the blog HERE).  While we can never “outdo” the grace that comes from God, we can try to install a culture of vocations in our families.  Pray regularly for your child to truly discern the will of God for their lives, give them opportunities to let God speak to their heart, and install family traditions that bring everyone closer to Christ.

Check out more information on an upcoming Vocations Pilgrimage for your family HERE.  A culture is built one experience at a time.  Consider this one on October 28th.  You might be surprised what God can do with one simple wave.