My father is here visiting (hooray!) and he brought me a fancy Nike runners’ shirt. Some of you know how much running I do. I am really a fan of cotton. I check tags and online descriptions for 100% cotton. I never have been interested in those new-fangled wicking fabrics or high tech blends because I really like cotton. (Plus I never work out, so I don’t shop for work out clothes, as behooves my lifestyle.) I put this engineered, special fabric shirt on, though, and I never want to take it off. It is so soft and light yet heavy enough, fitted yet loose enough, it feels wonderful! I was laughing at my own closed-mindedness when I thought, “It’s another case of misplaced loyalties.”
Living in another country highlights the sheer number of loyalties we cling to. Just the other day we were explaining to our German school director the order of American junior high and high school science, “first you take Life Science,…” and it made me laugh to listen to us. Who says that the order of sciences in American schools is the best or is even important? Who says that the way I cook biscuits is not to be improved upon? Who says that our holiday traditions should go unchanged for generations? Who says that guinea pigs are better as pets than food? Honestly, they weren’t very fun pets. Who says that my way of caring for infants, raising kids, and being involved at school is essential? Why should I explain to my German or Peruvian friends “the way we do it in America” unless it aids understanding among us?
More to the point, who says that my worship service structure is the model to emulate? Who says that my interpretation of that verse is worth a voiced disagreement? In a Peruvian context, I can expect that the way they disciple others, counsel them, and pastor them will look different.
I find myself unnecessarily loyal to the past, to America, to things that bring me comfort in a strange place.
But, if I’m loyal to anything other than Jesus and His word, I’m out of line.
Please pray for us to let go of all the unimportant loyalties we grasp and instead wholeheartedly be loyal to Jesus our King.