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 game 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….
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)