Passages - January 29, 2009
Respect The Position

By Pr. Rod Kvamme
Seeley Lake

On about the third day after the inauguration of our new President of the United States, one loudmouth commentator closed his tirade about the President with the words “I hope he loses.” When I heard it, I felt like throwing up–right on the commentator! There is a decency in showing respect for the office or position apart from one’s personal regard for the individual holding that office.
I entered the United States Air Force as a young Chaplain Lieutenant. The Chaplains’ School was located next to where the new recruits were being trained. Those young people saluted any glint of metal.
The new Chaplains ended each day with sore right arms from returning all those salutes. The recruits didn’t know any of us young Chaplains personally, but they reacted to the rank insignia on our shoulders.
A one star General became a personal friend of mine, and when we met, he would always salute me before I managed to salute him. I asked him about that and he said he wasn’t saluting me because of my rank (my low rank) on my shoulder or my accomplishments, but because of the insignia worn on my chest (the cross). That kind of respect emanated from the Christian faith residing in the General’s heart.
At our home, we have two sculpted golden swans swimming on a mirrored glass serving as their special lake. They seem very regal. But next to them we have one little chick on the verge of breaking out of its cracked shell. It is not difficult to admire the beautiful swans, but it takes some determination to spend time looking at the chick.
But the chick is a marvel too and may well have a greater future than the swans. For the time being, the invitation is to ponder the miraculous existence of the chick and wonder at its future and final state. It would be callous to ignore the wonder and refuse to show some present respect.
Let me close with a word from Scripture which is good for me, for the loudmouth commentator, and perhaps even for you to contemplate: “Now if your experience of Christ’s encouragement and love means anything to you, if you have known something of the fellowship of his Spirit, and all that it means in kindness and deep sympathy, do make my best hopes for you come true! Live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you. Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of one another than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but each should learn to see things from other people’s point of view.” (Philippians 2:1-4)

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