For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
"It's the Redskins, now."
My daughter was sitting at the kitchen table, hands wrapped around her coffee cup, hair in morning waves.
"My team. It's Redskins, now."
The news was on - as always - I'm not one for missing the weather report in the morning. My husband had just left for post - no rain in the forecast - so he rode his bike in. She had already come over to my chair and wrapped her arms around me for my morning hug - now we were sharing coffee time.
"Redskins?" I asked. "What about the Cowboys? I thought you liked the Dallas Cowboys."
In the five years we lived in Texas, my daughter had become a staunch fan of America's Sweetheart team. That suited me fine. They were featured on the weekly game schedule, so they were easy to watch and follow, and stores always carried the sports paraphernalia to give her for birthdays and Christmases. In fact, just last season, we'd found the perfect 'letterman' coat - with the championship year patches sewn up the sleeves, and the signature star emblazoned on the back. She loved that coat.
"No, Washington. Remember. It's the Redskins. Our house."
Oh! I don't know why I get surprised by my daughter's thinking - but I do. When we lived in Tennessee, her team was the Titans. I'd forgotten how geographical she was. Probably because we'd been in Texas so long. But, sometime over the summer, she had discovered that the Washington Redskins were the closest team to us. And she was making the change.
Her birthday was coming up - probably a good time to begin stocking her up with red and gold... But, what in the world were we going to do with all of the blue and white - the various jerseys, the pants and t-shirts, her Cowboys coat... I didn't say anything.
So later, she surprised me when she came down dressed. In a Dallas Cowboy's t-shirt. She showed me. "See," she said, rubbing the hemmed edge of the shirt on the shorts, "It's Dallas," she said. "Color is blue," she said. "Match."
She went over to the refrigerator where we keep our menu of the week's dinners. "It's spaghetti tonight." She looked over to make sure I was paying attention. "My favorite."
I had to laugh. See, everything is her favorite. Spaghetti, brats, chicken and rice. Everything.
Do you remember when you were young and learning your way around social skills and relationships. Remember best friends, and favorites? Remember those situations when you couldn't be friends with one if you were friends with the other... Remember having to choose a favorite? Competition. Always one. To the exclusion of all others.
Take the competition of shows like American Idol, or The Voice - even Big Brother, Amazing Race, etc. There is one winner. One person comes out on top - even if they're all good to start with. Even if they all do something or several things well. One. To the exclusion of all others.
Think about the news and politics and issues like immigration and gun control - issues that cause division. Even our political parties. Democrat OR Republican. Either. Or. Never a compromise. One answer only. To the exclusion of all others.
But it doesn't always have to be that way. We don't have to always compare everything. We don't always have to choose the best, the fastest, the most correct. Every time we make a choice of better - we also make a choice of worse. Imagine a world without that. Imagine taking away the argument, the for and against, and finding the relationship - the commonality. Imagine not making the comparison - black and white - but finding the joy in the mix. My daughter is constantly teaching me new ways of looking at life. Everyday. She's found a way to wear both teams. They're all her favorite. My guess is she'll still love that coat.
Father God, thank you for this day. Help me to be an encourager. Help me to think positively. Help me to make good decisions based on complete information.