Cotton Candy Crowds
Last week some friends and I went to a baseball game. No, not a MLB game. And no, not a little league game. Better than both of those. We went to a Flying Squirrels game.
The game was great. It was close most of the time, with some great plays tossed in. (and ultimately, the Flying Squirrels won- icing on the cake.)
Around inning 4, my friend Katie wanted some cotton candy. But she didn’t want just any cotton candy. She had to have the BLUE cotton candy (because everyone knows blue cavities taste better than pink cavities).
A few of us spotted the cotton candy man. He was sauntering up the steps, heading our way. He had one blue cotton candy left, and three pink cotton candies. Katie was ready to hand over her $4 in exchange for a sugary smile.
Then everything changed.
A 10 year old girl walked up to the man before he made it to our row. This grabbed the attention of our entire group of 10 or so people. We watched on like hawks, wondering if she would grab the last blue cotton candy. But this was a young girl, surely she would go for pink.
The young girl pondered her decision for a moment… our crowd watched from a distance, the tension building. The girl hands the man $4, reaches out her arm, and grabs…
The young girl chose a pink cotton candy. Our crowd cheered for her, applauding boisterously and congratulating her and each other for her decision. We were collectively excited to get our way.
But then… the young girl turned back around to the cotton candy man. She handed him another $4, glanced at our group with a look that said, “I must do this. It’s not for me. It’s for someone else.”
Our group was very nervous about this second transaction. Surely no young girl would want 2 pink cotton candies. Then she reached out her arm and grabbed…
The young girl now picked up the last remaining blue cotton candy. Our crowd was not pleased with this. Immediately, we booed her, loudly. This was a 10 year old girl being booed and jeered by people nearly 3x her age! She handed the blue cotton candy to her brother, and we were not happy.
The cotton candy man looked over and half-shruggingly offered to sell Katie a pink cotton candy, but she would have none of that.
Even though it was mostly in fun, it later amazed me how a crowd of people could do such a 180 in emotion towards an innocent person simply because that person made a decision the crowd didn’t like.
As we approach Easter, I can’t help but parallel that moment to the crowd’s reaction to Jesus. This crowd greeted Jesus, honored him, as he entered the city. They cheered for him, and we excited to be in His presence. Then just a few days later that same crowd shouted for Him to be crucified, murdered, when He was innocent of any wrong. How quickly their demeanor changed. How selfish their motives were.
Let us not get caught up in the crowds. For they are so easily swayed, usually by emotion or short-term circumstance. If we’re to get caught up in anything, let’s get caught up in serving Jesus, loving the unloveable, and giving all the credit to God.
Don’t blame the crowd. Love the crowd. Just don’t get caught up in the crowd.