On Being In Step

Published 6:19 am Saturday, June 1, 2024

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By Michael J. Brooks

Somehow the Kyoto Tachibana SHS Band found me on Facebook, and it’s been a good thing. This Japanese group plays beautiful music while making dance moves, and they’re fun to watch. However, this is not what I remember from my years with the Minor High School Tigers Marching Band.

I do remember a “two-step” we did while playing Herb Alpert’s “The Lonely Bull.” Our bass drummer had trouble with these steps, so we joked maybe he could be the bull and remain stationary!

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Our greatest challenge was when our director had the idea we’d march to the “Mission Impossible” theme. Unlike most of what we did — 1, 2, 3, 4, left, right, left, right — this number was 5/4 time, or 1,2, 3, 4, 5. So “left, right, left, right, right” didn’t quite work out. As I recall, our leader finally gave up in frustration when the whole band was out-of-step.

We certainly can find ourselves out-of-step in life. I suppose we’ve all been there.

I knew a lady who decided to paint her front door red, and then got a letter from the Homeowners Association reminding her this wasn’t an acceptable color scheme. She was out-of- step.

Employers may say to an employee, “It’s not a good fit” if the employee isn’t productive or doesn’t have people skills. I can remember being in an organization or two that made decisions I didn’t think were wise, but since I didn’t have major leadership, I had to try to remain cooperative until another opportunity arose. I felt out of step, and I was, though I continued to be supportive and to work hard.

I’ve known some church members who were out-of-step. They disagreed over minor things and spent a lot of time sharing their discontent with others.

This is one problem of the congregational church’s traditional business meeting. We give negative people a public opportunity to share their negativity by voting on inconsequential things, thus we’re left with winners and losers instead of a unified family.

Especially since the pandemic days many churches have determined to trust leaders with greater responsibility and to bring only the most major items to the church members for affirmation. No one that I know of is trying to hide anything, but rather to keep the church focused on our mission.

The writer of Hebrews exhorted, “Pursue peace with everyone. Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many,” (Hebrews 12: 14-15).

One of the responsibilities of church leaders is working to ensure the church be united in mission and united in love for one another.

In short, that we be in step.

“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.