Loyalty vs. Respect

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them…..


I sat on a bench watching two teams play. It was so cold my posterior froze to the wooden board of a bench. Bundled against the elements, facing the virtues of nature’s wrath. I could hardly predict the outcome. The teams fought hard, made some good plays and scored some points; but they walked away with arms wrapped around the opposing players. It was the only thing heartwarming on that bitter, brutal Sunday afternoon. The fans, too, huddled their way out of the bleachers. It didn’t matter whose side you were on. Just fighting to stay warm was worth its weight.

As we walked away, it wasn’t so much about who won or who lost. It was the sportsmanship displayed. “Loyalty ( strongly supporting each other) and respect (ability to admire someone for the abilities and achievements) goes a long way when two oppose one another”, I said to the father of one of boys on the opposing team. He smiled, shook my hand and said ” Good game!”. I guess he understood. Happy to be warm from the frigid winter winds, my heart steadily pumped 98.3 degree blood in this minus zero body.

I think about that game every now and then and the camaraderie we felt. I almost wish for a reunion of sorts; call it the coldest respect loyaltygame in Hades!!! But as I stop and tap my pencil eraser on the tabletop, I’ve come to want the same with everyone I know. It’s not just a wife or child but the guy I’m walking out of a stadium with as well. Loyalty and respect go hand and hand; you can’t have one without the other. My heart pales for those that try to live eliminating one or the other. Should I tear into the heartless as they rejoice with the absence of loyalty?  That surely is not respectful.

So tomorrow comes. Will things change? Will God intervene? Will you have patience and understanding? Can you allow the loyalty from love abound? And what about respect? Do you have the same on the scale for a janitor as you do for our Lord? I wonder….

 
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Loyalty: Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Loyalty: Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. (Proverbs 21:21)

Loyalty: Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

Respect: So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

Respect: Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:2)

Respect: We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

Complacency

it spreads through our towns like an epidemic…..


Annually, we celebrate that our 401k looks better. The kids are grown but come home occasionally. We sit and watch the glorious sunsets. Our yard gets mowed, whether it needs it or not. To keep up with the Jones’s, we buy a new car even though the old one was fine; just a couple scratches and a dent in the door. Our world revolves around charities, church and community civic meetings; a visit to sick friends, maybe; no need to be concerned about insurance on our homes. Our holidays are window shopping perfect, with glittering lights, that wish all a good night. At Easter, as the daffodils spring up, we dress our best to commemorate His Crucifixion; but never mind there are “those” that would crucify us in a minute.

Oh, how we have come to live in a little town of complacency! I remember….we watched them every afternoon…“Father Knows Best” or “The Andy Griffith Show”; we would dream of living a gratifying life as “The Beverly Hillbillies”, I recall. Looking back, we embraced our heritage like a flag pole; proud of our own small accomplishments; and surrendering our lives to our country. Giving all, it was an honor to protect and serve.

Today, generations later, even dress codes pay no mind as pants are worn at half-mast. We listen to our new America and think, it will never affect us. Well sadly, there is bill in the House to remove what we all believe in, “one nation under God “. I wonder…has socialism moved in right next door??

I’m tired that complacency is nothing more than a disease; it spreads through our towns like an epidemic. I pray that God, who hears and listens in the silence, delivers us from this blight. It is difficult to believe we’ve allowed things to go this far!

But, maybe tomorrow, after another restless night, the hands of time will ring like the number one song on the top charts that we all used to sing. Isn’t that, in fact, exactly what we do? We sing along and reminisce about the times we first heard our favorite song playing… on our transistor radio….

complacency

What Am I Worth?

….I will wilt like an autumn leaf


After many months of exhilarating work and little time to relax, I want to run away. The south, somewhere, includes a cruise, some sand, sun and life on the mild side – maybe. On a sunset cruise, the breeze filters through my hair. The salt air soothes what is left of my thoughts from this past year. The ocean swells roll as if God has taken a huge blanket and shook it. In perfect formation, you can count the seconds before they hit the boat. Finding a cold beverage and cozy spot, I plop myself down to enjoy the ride.

As the sun sets, I start to count the stars in the heavens; realizing the meaning of infinity. The seas perpetually roll the yacht from left to right. Peering into my half empty glass, I find myself asking God, what am I worth?

To avoid sea sickness, I think about my backyard – the flowers lining the handrails; the trees majestically hovering over the fence. I – a mere leaf – am a miniscule piece of a huge tree; an infamous piece of life, a speck in the desert. Where in the hell do I fit in??What Am I Worth

We are born equal and reserve the right to be whatever God plans for us. Though we are so minute, we are the most powerful creature on Earth; not in size, but in the ability to realize right from wrong; and, where the weak meets the strong….. In the strength of love and power of prayer, created and nurtured in God, He has made me, and all of us – the greenest leaf – a shining star in a turbulent sea.

The moon is high above the swells now following me. I’m steadfast to the mast – as a pillar for my life. I come to God, my maker, where all things wither in the wind; He has created me to humbly honor Him. Respectfully, I will conquer, though I will wilt like an autumn leaf; I’ll become dust in the winter. I pray God will use me for His purpose; for I am only worth the wager when the world weighs your velocity. Godspeed ……

A Melancholy Morning

…more perfect union, a land enriched with loyalty and respect.


July 1st, 1776Melancholy AM (2)

Finally! A day of peace. The air is still carrying the charred remains of lumber from burnt ships. Some water-logged pieces and materials are washing ashore from those who gave their all. But, through the stench and haze, the sun is trying to warm the spirits.

Standing on the beach, thanking God for my salvation, I ask only Him, where do we go from here? Turning about, soldiers carry a makeshift cot with remnants of friends that didn’t make it. A tiny town is shattered in the night, what was the purpose?? Moral support gives little hope to the vow of the foes who fight for this country.

Fragments scatter the hearts of so many that appear doomed from the night before. My first thought is, “though I walk in the shadows of death“, faceless images tell the story. Tears in my eyes, I turn to watch the water as the sun sparkles on it. Blocking out the hell and the nightmares in my mind, nothing seems possible. Life, now, should start again.

Chaos creates such a racket, as riders are coming, bearing arms with messages. Old, white haired men now give up the ghost and carry their pride back to their home. The turmoil is horrendous – children are screaming, holding their sobbing mother’s hand, as yet a quartet marches so diligently. I ask our Father, where is the mercy? Why must the innocent be so inflicted? A musket washes up on the shore now.

There up on the hill, tattered and bearing bloodstains from the gallant, is standing the remains of the proud, waving the threads of red, white and blue. Freedom from England at last! Like lost sheep, we are setting out to form a more perfect union, a land enriched with loyalty and respect.
……………….

2017 –

The place, today, that we call home, could never imagine the famine and despair those before us bared. I love this place! It might not be perfect but it’s mine. My parents, their parents, and those before, as well, gave their all so I could sit here quietly enjoying my morning brew. I’m so damn proud to be the one who stands and says, I’ve seen five wars in my lifetime! to enjoy?

I salute every one of those who gave their time for this privilege!      Happy 4th!  Fireworks