Team Colors

2 06 2010

I bet you didn’t expect to see that logo on one of  my posts. It seems out-of-place doesn’t it? I’ll explain…

We experienced an Amazonian rain today so Jeni and I took the boys down to The Fun Factory to play with Oliver and Samuel. I chose to wear the Wake Forest T-shirt that I bought on my annual road trip with my friends to see FSU play football.

I thought nothing of it until I noticed a guy walking in proudly wearing a FSU T-shirt. Had this been any other day and I was wearing one of my vast array of Seminole shirts we would have interacted in some way. He might have said, “Go Noles.” Or maybe I would have said, “nice shirt.” This exchange would normally lead to further discussion about if we attended the university or hailed from Tallahassee. We might discover mutual friends or find out we were at the same games, etc. Our shirts could conceive a conversation that might birth friendship. But not today.

Today I felt like a fraud. I didn’t even say hi to my collegiate companion. Instead of connecting with a potential friend, I retreated as a perceived foe. I felt like I had compromised my true self in the name of convenience.

As I write this I realize how silly it is to have felt like a traitor because of a T-shirt, but I did. I know that I am a Seminolious- obnoxious. Those who are close to me are not shaken by my displaying the wrong colors. (Quick disclaimer, those colors will never be ora*** mixed with bl** nor would they be ora*** mixed with gr***. Just felt I should clarify

But that guy, the alien Seminole walking around North Carolina unashamedly displaying the garnet and gold, doesn’t know me. He missed out on an opportunity for encouragement in his foreign plight. He just saw one more enemy, albeit a feeble one.

Who among us hasn’t been in a similar situation? Maybe we were being told an off-color joke and even though we knew it was mean-spirited we laughed. Perhaps it was noticing someone who needed assistance of some sort and instead of freely offering support, you pretended not to notice. Have you ever seen someone else make a stand for something and when the time came to throw your hat in the ring, you were more concerned about keeping the sun out of your eyes…

This is what Peter did. He promised Jesus that he would never deny him, if fact he swore he would die for him. But, when a little girl called him “all in” he folded like a bath towel in the hands of a cruise ship attendant. He had entered enemy territory and tucked his team colors into his satchel, proving himself to be a hopeless coward.

We have all been there. A friend was about to make a terrible mistake, and we utilized our right to remain silent. We knew the right thing to do yet we cowered and did the wrong thing instead. We knew the idea wasn’t ours but we hogged the praise like an early riser taking a super long shower.

But we don’t have to do it anymore. We can go into our closets or dressers, grab our game day shirts, and proudly display our true colors.

We can speak the truth, love our neighbor, forgive our family, embrace the hurting, support the fallen, or teach the ignorant.

You and I have the privilege of being the hands and feet of Christ. Being the light of the world and salt of the Earth. We can shine like stars. We have the hope of the nations to share with a hopeless world.

But we can’t do it wearing the enemies clothes.