The most embarrassing experience to this point in my life (can’t wait to see what I can pull off in the years ahead!) occurred as a band member in high school. The eighty members formed two parallel lines diagonally from a corner of the end zone about a third of the way toward the middle of the field.
We played the school fight song as our players ran through and over to the bench in front of the largest crowd of the year. It was our homecoming game. In a high school of 3700 students, the crowd was large and excited.
I was third from the end of our row, with the drum major at the end and a trombonist between us. At the whistle command from the drum major our side was to do a right face and march past the 50 yard line to the 45 yard line, turn left and march toward our team and fans. The opposite side was to make a left face and march parallel to us to the closer 45 yard line where they would make a left as well.
That was what was supposed to happen. At the drum cadence we turned right and began our short march to center field. But the ‘we’ wasn’t the forty in our line. Thirty seven turned left, while the entire line opposite us turned right. Our line now consisted of the drum major, the trombone player and myself!
As the drumbeats faded and the other seventy-seven students reached the obscurity of the track, almost unseen by the fans, the three of us marched on bravely following our assigned route … dramatically alone! Making our turn toward the sidelines there were gales of laughter and pointed fingers and shouts of “Way to go, losers!” from more than one amused fan.
We were later vindicated by our director. Seventy-seven were wrong. We were right … but at what a price!
The moral of this story and the basis for this week’s devotional thought is this: There are times you do wrong and nobody notices. And there are times you do right and you stick out like a sore thumb. When the ancient ruler Nebuchadnezzar said “Bow and worship me” everybody but three went down, leaving the three standing out like … well, you know. In that case, everyone was wrong but the three doing right and again, the price was stiff. It took a divine miracle to right the wrong. (Daniel 3)
We live in a culture that glorifies what horrifies God. Living by his standard will always make you a marked man or woman. But vindication won’t come from observers in the stands.
“For we must all stand before Christ to be judged and have our lives
laid bare—before him. Each of us will receive whatever he deserves
for the good or bad things he has done in his earthly body.”
II Corinthians 5:10 Living Bible