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    by Susan McGrath

"Where's My Allegiance"
Date Posted: March 13, 2004

As I watch kindergartners say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag each morning, I notice that some are quite intent -- eyes fixed firmly on the flag, voices strong, hands placed carefully over their hearts. Others fidget, mumble or look around, their hands on everything but their hearts. Sometimes one will slip by the pledge leader and the teachers and not even stand up!

What can I learn from watching this display (or non-display) of patriotism? Consistently the kids who are saying the pledge and standing up tall with their hands and eyes in the proper places are the ones who know how to listen and follow directions in other areas of the class. They also have less trouble getting through the day.

I can relate this to my pledge to Christ -- to honor Him, to seek things which are right and good. When I fidget through the sermon on Sunday, mumble a prayer out of obligation, use my hands to fulfill my desires rather than to promote God's kingdom or help those in need, or have my eyes on the things of earth rather than things above it can be a difficult day!

Sometimes it's hard to keep everything going in the right direction at the same time. (Kind of like patting your head and rubbing your tummy.) But I notice that when I lack in even one area -- prayer, fellowship, scripture reading, kindness to others -- that my whole relationship with the Lord can slip a notch.

Although I may be busy with many things each day, as most of us are -- spouse, children, school, career, sports, church activities, housekeeping, bill paying, etc. -- and I may make a pledge to the flag, my true and total allegiance was pledged to Christ when gave my life to Him. I must remember through all the everyday-ness that my allegiance is to Jesus and I must fix my eyes on Him.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." -- Hebrews 12:2

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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