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Normally a spectator is one who leaves the flow and outcome of the spectacle he witnesses to the performers. He or she is helpless to influence the unfolding or the outcome of the production. But when spectators unite and act together as one they can have a very different and powerful effect. Imagine two or three molecules trying to produce thunder by banging together. But when trillions of trillions and more molecules are all bashing together we hear the awesome sound of thunder! Some athletes regard the home crowd as another player or performer in itself. Some stadiums are renowned for their noise, their deafening roar,(players can't even hear the quarterback's signals, the quarterback has trouble hearing himself) their rowdiness or enthusiasm. Visiting players often dread facing such spectators and employ strategies to silence them and "take them out of the game." If a home football team has a formidable offense for example the visiting team can grind up lots of yards and minutes with its own offense to muffle the excitement of local fans because their stars have to sit or stand on the sidelines waiting so long for their turn. Then too in live musical or theatrical performances the eager and enthusuiastic response of the audience "eggs on" the performers who learn to "play off" the crowd, but when there are catcalls and insults or obvious boredom it takes the wind out of the performers' sails and the thunder out of their clouds, even crippling their creativity. We too are visitors and sojourners in this world all aswirl in a spiritual battle and surrounded by a cloud of many witnesses. Our steadiness and our faithful consistency holding out the light, as well as our continual thanksgiving and praise can deaden the roar and take the surrounding dark powers right out of the contest, erasing their effect in our lives and in the lives around us, and over time potentially transforming an entire region. (See psalm 8 about silencing the avenger.)
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