Sunday, November 23, 2014

some ramblings about a marching band and unity.

This morning I woke Shaun up by shaking him and excitedly squealing, "Wake up, wake up! It's almost a month until Christmas!" He laughed and called me a crazy lady and there is really no reason for me to tell you this other than just my sheer excitement about my favorite time of year. Don't worry for all of you Thanksgiving folks out there who think I'm moving too fast, I love Thanksgiving too and plan to thoroughly enjoy it, but for me Thanksgiving is just another thing to love about Christmas time. Ho Ho Ho. (Insert Santa emoji.)

Meredith and I are going to be spending Thanksgiving in Korea with our Dad this year. Crazy right? Thanksgiving in Korea! We only just found out about it earlier this month and couldn't be happier about our very own sisterly adventure to visit our good old Dad at his house. (PS. Dad, I know you read this blog and I don't really think you are old. Just good. :) ) Anyway my Dad has lived in Korea for years but I haven't gotten the opportunity to visit him yet, until now. I think there is something extra special about understanding what someone's life looks like close up. Especially someone you love with your whole heart. Shaun and David are going to be holding things down here in L.A. while we are gone. Shaun pretends he is sad about me leaving, and I know he really is, but I also know that he and his new brother-in-law (aka. one of his favorite friends ever) are going to have an awesome time eating way too much food and skating day and night with our jolly Calling All Skaters family. I threw "jolly" in there in an effort to start making things sound a little more merry because like I said before, Christmas is almost a month away already and there's no time to spare. 

On my way to the coffee shop today I walked by a high school marching band practicing outside their school. It was wild and squeaky and I literally burst out laughing when I heard the sound because it was so... eclectic. The sound wasn't pretty, not even a little, and I tried to imagine what they were doing. Maybe they were warming up? Or maybe they were instructed to make an ugly sound as loudly as possibly and they just happened to be following directions when I walked by? Maybe they were deaf? Am I even allowed to wonder that? ... So after I scolded myself for the whole deaf thing, I tried to listen more closely to see if I could figure out what was happening.

They were each playing a different sound. Some were playing songs, others just repetitive notes, and if I could focus in on one player at a time then it was actually really nice noise, though it was hard to separate the good sound from the chaos of every other sound. They were all playing their own song which made for one really bad symphony. but I could see that these band students were actually talented, which almost surprised me because of how awful they sounded at first. They obviously  knew how to play and the sounds they were making as individuals were really pleasant, but despite their personal gifts and abilities, their overall sound was a bad one. I'll even say more honestly that their sound was a repulsive and obnoxious one, one that made a normally kind-hearted person like me laugh out loud and rush away quickly before my poor ears started bleeding.

However when I got a little distance from the school and could hear myself think again, I realized something really valuable and it made me want to run back and hug each of those squeaky little band students. (I didn't, just in case you got nervous for them.) "Life! It is just like that marching band!" That's what I exclaimed excitedly in my heart. We are all talented and gifted and we all have the potential to make beautiful noise! But without relationships and unity and learning to collaborate with one another, we just end up being a crowd of sounds, an ugly herd of individuals attempting to play something lovely while those around us are feeling repulsed by the lack of solidarity in our efforts. We need each other! That's what the marching band reminded me. We function best with each other! When we remain disjointed individuals seeking our own gain and pursuing our own end, we miss out on the gift of relationship and ultimately other people miss out on the gifts we can give through our dynamic unity.

Not only do we need each other but we need a song! That was the other part of what I realized. We need a song to play, a rhythm to align our lives to, and oh how exciting it is to realize that we have been given one! We've been given clarity from heaven about what each of us is here to do! We have been given the song and it's the gospel itself! Our job here as believers is to magnify our God. We are to be little Christs on the earth, examples to the watching world of what it looks like to follow Jesus. We are to be healers and lovers and peace-makers, we are to be givers and encourages and hope-bringers. We are to live the Kingdom of God right here on the earth. That is our song and every single one of us has a role to play, we are not to do it alone, but together! Like how those band members played different instruments, we have different gifts, but the design is that we would use our gifts to make the song better!

Excuse the multitudes of exclamation points in this post but there has been some genuine excitement as I have realized again the importance of unity. Disunity is repulsive, like the sound coming from the out of sync marching band, but unity is attractive and wonderful, like the sound of the N'Sync Christmas album. Right? Anybody?

Anyway I'll finish with this. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 God likens believers to a human body and states that each of has an important part to play. Scripture shows that God even knows we will be tempted to want to play someone else's role but He reminds us that our role is our own and it is desperately needed. He reminds us that no role is to be separate and disconnected from the rest, but they are to function together, working in one accord to accomplish the same goal.

God is so smart and His design is a good one.
We work together. We honor each other. We embrace our place. We make unity a priority.
And we buy the N'Sync Christmas album. Just because it's awesome.

And now for the trusty Bible...
"The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ... Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? 18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad." 27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it." 
1 Corinthian 12:14-27

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And some photos from our recent trip to NYC & Connecticut! 

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