Run no. 42 – The Importance of Club UniformsPosted: 2 March 2016
Distance: 4.53 miles Time: 43’07” (PB 38’ 28”)
When out running you see people in club kit. The name of the club proudly emblazoned on the chest. You notice that this shared uniform enables club members to recognise each other, you hear the ‘hellos’ and see the salutes and waves.
Of course the primary reason for a club uniform is in competition, it enables the runners of each club to be identified, particularly important in inter-club meets.
All this is the positive benefit of uniform, but some things are lost too.
The individual becomes harder to identify, their uniqueness somewhat diminished by a common kit.
As usual, I was prompted to reflect on this in spiritual terms.
The Christian faith, which I espouse, has only one goal for those who follow Jesus – transformation. A goal sometimes explained by the double metaphor of putting off the old man’ (Ephesians 4:22-24) and ‘putting on Christ’ (Romans 31:14).
The picture is of someone taking off old set of clothing and getting dressed in something new. Those who would follow Jesus are expected, commanded even, to take off the old clothes that are no longer appropriate and dress themselves with Jesus. That is to say that their thoughts, words and actions should no longer represent their old values and priorities but those of Jesus.
In order to be able to do this, followers of Jesus need to know what Jesus said about Himself, about them, and what He commands His disciples to do. There is only one source for this information and that is the Bible – our record of the life of Jesus, the message of Jesus and the response made to that message by those who knew Him best.
It is only as people get to grips with this that they can start to discard ‘clothing’ that doesn’t fit with their new identity, and ‘dress’ their lives and actions with ‘clothing’ that looks like Jesus.
Whilst this process certainly involves the loss of some elements from our lives, and the embracing of a common uniform, this does not undermine individuality.
It is like a football team. At the presentation most players are fairly indistinguishable, their size and stature fairly similar. However when they start to play their individual styles, abilities, tricks and techniques, will be expressed.
In ‘putting on Christ’ we do not lose our individuality, rather we are freed up to express that individuality in a new and fuller way.