“We told her, just don’t get married on a game day, and we’ll be there, hundred percent, and she went off and picked the third Saturday in October which everybody knows is when Alabama plays Tennessee, so we told her, hey, we got a ball game to go to. We made the reception–went there soon as the game was over.”

-Quote from Freeman Reese, owner of the Crimson Express, as told in Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, A Road Trip into the Heart of Fan Mania

Everybody has priorities. In this case, most of us can recognize there might be at least one mistaken priority for these Alabama super fans (hint: it’s not that they missed post-game tailgating for their daughter’s wedding reception).

You might be rightly questioning what could possibly entice parents to miss their own daughter’s wedding for a football game. Well, the author of the book above asked Mr. Freeman Reese, “So why’d you do it?” After a telling pause, the answer, “I just love Alabama football, is all I can think of.”

The answer is simple, it is easy for this Alabama fan to keep his priorities straight, mistaken though they may be. Why? Because he has a single-minded love to pursue. If only mistaken priorities were this obvious in our own lives. Instead, our lives are often filled with distractions that are harder to identify, and easier to justify. Worry, fear and anxiety can all rob us of our love of Jesus. Even good things, like doing good works, working hard at our jobs, loving our families can become ultimate things if our hearts are not single-minded in our love for Jesus (Matthew 10:37-39).

To pursue Jesus is straightforward. We won’t grow closer to Jesus by checking the right spiritual boxes, or being better people, or even memorizing the whole Bible, unless our pursuit is defined by a love for Jesus.

We will get Jesus when our hearts are captivated by the story of the gospel. When our hearts overflow with joy at what Christ has done and who God is. Then, not only do we become better Christians, but our life will become more and more gospel centered. Pursue your love of Jesus and discard what threatens that love, and suddenly every action, every decision, becomes in-step with what we love.

So how do you grow in your love of Jesus?

Dwell on scripture and what Christ has done (Philippians 4:4-7). Do not grieve the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30-31), but walk in step with him (Galatians 5:16-17, 25). Surround yourself with other people who love Jesus too (Hebrews 10:25).

Lynn Eneas

Lynn has attended Sovereign Hope since 2009. She has been married to Rick since 2003. She currently works in marketing.