"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hazy Etiquette?

Last month, America was served a small piece of the Baseball pie that has been cooling in the oven for years. Dallas Braden, the star pitcher for the Oakland Athletics, called out Alex Rodriguez, the star third baseman for the New York Yankees, for poor etiquette. As “A-Rod” (Alex Rodriguez) was returning to the Yankees’ dugout, he ran across the pitchers mound. Braden, outraged by the disrespect, charged out of the dugout and told the Yankee Millionaire, “Get off my mound!” Both players were interviewed after the game. Rodriguez said, “I didn’t know it was a big deal—plus, he’s a rookie with a hand full of wins.” Braden said, “I was shocked that a veteran of Rodriguez’ character would have such poor etiquette and pay such a disrespectful tribute to the game.”

There are many “unwritten” rules that govern the game of Baseball. Here are just a few that don’t receive publicity…

1) “When hit by a pitch, don’t rub the mark” (This is the batter’s way of telling the pitcher that his best shot—intentional or otherwise—didn’t hurt! Even though it always hurts—don’t let him know it!)
2) “Don’t help the opposition make a play” (When infielder’s dive into the stands or dugouts to catch foul balls, the other team should not brace them. Even though bracing another player is something a “nice guy” would do, you’re a competitor! Don’t help the opposition to win in anyway!)
3) “Pitchers stay in the dugout to the end of the inning, even if they were pulled!” (This is out of respect for your teammates. Sure, you might be having a tough day, but don’t show your teammates you think the game is lost if you aren’t playing!)

You know, there is an understood “etiquette” that Christians are expected to follow! But sometimes I worry that we push these guidelines into the back of our minds and they transition to dormancy. Here are just a few we need to remember…

1)“You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain” (Sure, we love to “chit and chat” with our friends and family. But please do not mention God in conversation, unless you plan to glorify Him for the God that He is!)
2)“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give…for God loves a cheerful giver.” (You love the programs at church, the outreach, the fellowship, even the building! But you don’t give money to support them! Something doesn’t “add up” in that equation!)
3)“Forgive, as the Lord forgave you” (You don’t deserve the harsh treatment you receive from others! Probably not, but you also don’t deserve the forgiveness God gave you! How about “paying it forward?”)

Yes, even Christians need to follow etiquette. It’s not hazy; it’s clear! Pay tribute to the game called life! We’re all players!