Tag Archives: Pledge of Allegiance

As a Strong Man to Run a Race

Our son is resisting standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance. He has his reasons. He sits quietly and unobtrusively while kids are reciting it, reminiscent of the several kids in my fourth-grade class whose family were Jehovah’s Witnesses. It seems like the teacher never had any kids in her class who did that. She questioned it, but didn’t really give him a hard time about it. Today she asked him why. It being an English class, it occurred to him to ask if he should write down his reasons. She said it wasn’t necessary. But he had other ideas.

Upon arriving home from school, he started writing a formal five-paragraph essay to explain his reasons anyway. It seemed to put him in a marvelous mood, the attempt to write meaningfully and persuasively about something he believes in. He was not in the least put out about being questioned. It put me in mind of a Bible passage, describing the rising Sun.

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. – Psalm 19:5

Dexter writes well. It’s one of his strengths, and he knows it. It feels good, knowing that one is taking up the challenge on one’s home ground.

I belong to a choral group called The Starlite Chorale. After a concert, there is usually a large group of 15 or so that will go to eat at it diner near the venue. Why a diner? Our director is a minister, so one might imagine he does not wish to be going into a restaurant where alcoholic beverages are served. But that’s not it at all. It is because a diner manager will turn off their music and let us sing after dinner. That’s what it’s all about – we get together to perform a show because we like to sing together, and then after the show we go out to eat in order to sing some more.

One evening, at dinner, someone suggested we perform a piece where I am the soloist – “In the Still of the Night”. Our director looked over at me, asking, “Do you think you’re up to it?” I laughed, partly because I know that solo backward and forward, partly because the show had warmed my voice up. But that isn’t why.

I laughed because I feel like that strong man, ready to run a race, eager to fight the good fight once again, to bring music to the ears of an audience. People ask me if I ever have stage fright, but I tell them no. Its because it is my home ground – on the stage, at the front of a group.

Bring it on.

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