For the last few years I have been blessed to be at Oriole Park for Opening Day. It is always a thrill to see the orange carpet unfurled from center field and the players introduced, making their way down the carpet to the hopes and cheers of a packed house.
Everything seems better on Opening Day… every team is in first place, the National Anthem is sung with great gusto (often by a special guest brought in for the event), there is almost always a military flyover (which is awe-inspiring, every-single-time), the crack of the bat – the roar of the crowd – the “Let’s Go O’s” chant – Take Me Out To The Ballgame is sung with swagger – it’s just fantastic!
Last year the 1st pitch was tossed by a very special guest, the nation’s First Lady, Michelle Obama. She threw a pretty good pitch and then personally greeted the players. I was most impressed.
Make no mistake about this, there are important responsibilities that come with the First Lady job – tremendous pressure to establish and maintain high standards around the executive mansion, always be on no matter how you feel, provide a valuable role model for others, demonstrate hospitality even toward your greatest critics (and those who criticize your hubby), invest your time and persona in worthwhile causes, etc.
But, have you ever wondered about the perks that the First Lady gets? Obviously throwing out the 1st pitch at Oriole Park would be the number one thrill, but did you know there are others as well?
- They get to live in the White House
- They get to fly on Air Force One and on Marine One
- They get to vacation anywhere they want (including Camp David in the beautiful Maryland Mountains)
- They get to travel the world and meet fascinating people
- They get to host concerts of world-famous entertainers rather than fight the crowds to attend
- They get to see pre-release motion pictures in their personal theater
- They get a complete staff, including a “Chief of Staff”
- They get a press secretary
- They get security wherever they go
First Lady’s have been characterized (and caricatured) in numbers of ways through the 200+ years of US history. Sometimes flattering. Sometimes not-so-much. It is the risk they run when they find themselves married to one who seeks such an office. They can respond (and have responded) with ugly pride or with humble grace to the circumstances that become their lot in life.
And what, exactly, did they do to deserve this lot in life?
They got married and then stuck with the guy through thick and thin.
The First Lady’s of America were not elected to those perks. They were not elected at all. They all represented their husbands during the campaigns, even as they represent him while in office. But it is his administration – his authority – his position… they are the beneficiary of it all!
NOTE: I used ‘he’ and ‘lady’ in the above paragraphs to be historically correct, not as a prophecy of how it will be or a judgment of how it should be. Please hold those emails!
I have, from time to time, used this space to reflect on moments with God around a season of meditation in the 3rd chapter of Colossians. You can catch up on this stream by clicking the drag-down categories menu to the right and selecting Colossians 3 Meditations.
“And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” [Colossians 3:4, NLT]
Christ is Messiah. I am not – of this you should be glad… I know Adele is!
He is the Groom. I am the Bride (just part of the Bride, to be more precise). I didn’t campaign for the role. No majority of voters elected me. I simply made a good decision in regards to Who to marry my life to and have stuck with Him through thick and thin, not because I’m incredibly disciplined but mostly because He has stuck with me.
As Messiah, Savior, LORD, there is, surrounding Him, a certain amount of Glory. All glory, to be exact. According to a host of dictionaries, glory refers to things like abundance, splendor, majesty, bliss, honor, admiration, distinction, and renown. Pretty cool stuff.
He deserves these things because of Who He is… God.
He also earned these things by His unparalleled, sacrificial acts of obedience.
Me? I just married well.
And yet, I get to share in all His glory. How will I respond to such generosity? Will it be with an arrogant, prideful, judgmental, entitlement view toward others? Or, will I demonstrate humility, grace, and gratitude?
As a follower of Jesus I will be assessed/evaluated/judged by my family, my neighbors, my work associates, the folks I cut-off on the beltway, the baristas at the coffee shop, the flight attendants on the plane, and so forth. Not consciously or with malice, but assessed nonetheless.
Will I hold gently and generously the perks I hold merely because I married my life to Him, or will I flaunt them like a two-year-old singing that ugly mantra: “nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah”?
If I chose the latter, how does that reflect on my Groom? I do represent Him now.