WHAT TYPE of footwear do high school marching bands wear today? I’m not sure, but back in the 80s we wore white shoes. We walked in them for miles. We posed forever in formation on a football field wearing those thin, light shoes. The percussion section in particular stood playing at attention while the horns and woodwinds assembled and reassembled into amazing patterns (Our awesome bandmaster, Charlie Clark, had a gift for coming up with complex choreography).
HOWEVER, the part of my band years that left the most lasting impressions was the parade competitions. No complex patterns involved there. So you might be asking WHY?
I shall tell you.
(yours truly, center xylophone)
To win a competition—on the field or on the street—you had to keep complete focus on your alignment with both your row and your column. No matter who shouted your name from the sidewalk, no matter the rain or the sun glaring in your eyes, you . . .
NEVER STEP OUT OF FORMATION.
Not only would your misstep throw others off, but the judges would subtract points.
NOW ADD IN the animal participants in a parade.
FYI – Horses never hold back on parade routes. If they gotta go, they go.
I vividly recall the bandmaster’s orders before each parade start.
“Do not break formation. Do not step around the crap.”
In other words, if the apples are in your path, you have permission to tread upon them.
The judges never checked the color or odor of our footwear. They evaluated our showmanship and the unified execution of our performance.
So, how do we react to the crap in our path today? Go around or tromp through? You know what I’m talking about. The stuff that distracts us from what we’re called to do. Those untimely “tactics” that scare us into taking a detour. Those dark, rotten apples flaunting a semblance of power and simulated authority.
Luke 10:19 Jesus said, Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
If we truly believe what Jesus said, then we can, in His name, tread right over all apples any horse drops in front of us. He did not come to take the “apples” out of our lives but, like the bandmaster, He gives us authority over them. As long as we live in an imperfect world, crap will continue to drop in our path. Don’t walk around it.
Keep your eyes focused on the finish line, do not look down. And most of all . . .
DO NOT BREAK FORMATION
The seventy (disciples) returned with joy, saying,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!”
And Jesus said to them,
I saw Satan falling like a lightning from heaven.
Behold! I have given you authority and power
to trample upon serpents and scorpions,
and [physical and mental strength and ability]
over all the power that the enemy [possesses];
and nothing shall in any way harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this,
that the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.
(Lk 10:18-20 msg)