Wearing the Shirt...or Playing?

The family of Wade Taylor asked me to speak on their behalf last week at his memorial service in the Washington, D.C. area. He was a dear friend to me, a devoted follower of Jesus, and an unusual spiritual man. I wanted my remarks to represent him well, so I asked the Lord to help me to that end. I boarded the plane to Dulles International Airport wearing a black polo shirt with a large emblem of a polo player and pony emblazoned on the front left breast and a big number '3' on the sleeve. As folks boarded the plane a man approached me with a big smile on his face, stopped and asked, "Do you play polo?"

"No", I said.  "I just wear the shirt, do you?"

His smile diminished greatly at my response as he replied, "Yes, I play."

I responded, "Oh..." That ended our conversation.

The next morning as I prepared my message for Wade's memorial the Lord reminded me of my conversation on the plane. He made this point: 'Some people play while others just wear the shirt.' Wade Taylor lived an incredible life of faith. Among other things he established a Bible school, founded a retirement home, established a Long Island retreat center, published books, and raised a family of godly children. He lived an incredible life of faith that spanned more than 50 years.

Wade Taylor did not just wear the shirt. He played and his playing inspired me to play as well.

After considering the life he lived, allow me ask you a question. How you answer it may define the rest of your life.

'Do you play, or do you just wear the shirt?"