Sunday, April 20, 2014

Who Are You?

Because my fitness club was closed today due to Easter, I walked and ran into Mark who I chronicled eight years ago. Mark is very old and feeble now and he still has the same tiny dog who he told me is ten. If you watch television at all, you probably would recognize Who Are You?, a 1960's hit for the rock band The Who. The reason you would recognize it might be that it's the theme song for the hit series, CSI. In my classes, we discuss how people questioned who John the Baptist was and subsequesntly, would question the identity of Jesus as well. The following is from October 16, 2006.

I've run into him on a continual basis for years. Mark, a gentleman in his eighties, lives in the neighborhood adjacent to my apartment complex and I often see him when I get my exercise. He is British, runs his own business from his home, and takes his dog out for a walk in the late afternoon. Our times often coincide and we spend several minutes talking. He tells me of his days in England as a soccer and track and field coach. Mark gardens and gives me his opinion of current events in the sporting world. I enjoy his European perspective on life and marvel at his knowledge of the world. I hope to be in as good of shape as he is should I reach my eighth decade.

I ran into Mark this afternoon this afternoon at Wal-Mart. Normally, I grocery shop on Friday but tomorrow I will be headed to the airport to pick up my brother, Dave, who is flying to Houston to put on a tennis clinic at Westbury Christian School. Coming out of an aisle, our carts nearly collided. I greeted Mark and immediately was positive he didn't know who I was. Steering the conversation, I mentioned something about walking and then he made the connection. Mark said he didn't recognize me based on the way I was dressed. Normally when he sees me, I am wearing shorts, a T-shirt, and running shoes. Today, coming straight from school, I was outfitted in a long sleeve oxford shirt, tie, khaki pants, and dress shoes. He wasn't expecting me and I looked different. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sometimes, I ask my eighth grade students if the person they will marry could be sitting in the classroom with them. They all seem incredulous. It couldn't be anybody in here.....or could it? They can't visualize the person they now find repulsive or at least barely tolerable as someone they could ever find attractive. Jesus walked among his people and they did not recognize him. Maybe he was dressed wrong or had an unpleasant appearance or speaking voice but they walked right past him without a hint of recognition. They were looking for him, all right, but they kept misidentifying others, like John the Baptist. There was a country song from the eighties with this line in the chorus:
"I overlooked an orchid while searching for a rose." We look past blessings, opportunities, maybe even angels, while diligently seeking something else. I am pretty sure I look about the same in teaching clothes as I do in workout clothes but Mark didn't see it that way. Maybe the Lord thinks it's the same with chances to do good that he presents in the middle of the path on which I'm walking. I just don't recognize the packages they come boxed in.

Applicable quote of the day:

"Integrity simply means not violating one's own identity."
Erich Fromm

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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1 comment:

Kaitlyn said...

Hey Coach,
I so get Mark and having to be reminded of who you are because I went through a similar situation a coulpe days ago. I ran into an old friend and for the life of me I couldn't remember who she was, although the funny thing was she couldn't remember me either (all we saw was familiar faces). I agree with you when all people saw was another face in the crowd (when they were looking for Jesus). I still CANNOT imagine getting married to someone in my class,now that's weird!!!

Love and God Bless,
Kaitlyn :)