Esprit de Corps - Bottom of the Ninth #89


Bottom of the 9th - Esprit de Corps

Forging the Brotherhood

The beginning of 2015 will mark the start of a new series, "Forging the Brotherhood" Mrs. Weide's devotional below marks the beginning of the series with a personal reflection. You will see devotionals from coaches, players, and community members around the theme of "brotherhood" for the next few months.

Esprit de Corps

by Meredith Weide

Although I never served my country in the military, I have known and loved many who have. My father, father-in-law, uncles, brothers, and now sons have all answered their nation’s call. The stories that swirl among those who have served run the gamut of hilarious to heartbreaking. These young men endure the unthinkable and manage to come home with a unique view of the world and a lifelong connection to those with whom they shared the journey. Circumstance forces them to rely upon one another, physically and spiritually. The group takes on a spirit of commonality as they uphold a cause much larger than themselves. The phrase “esprit de corps†was coined to describe the camaraderie of those who served in wartime. Literally translated, it means “the spirit of the body."Esprit de corps rallies in many places. I am reminded of my Mother’s friends who met at one another’s homes every other Thursday afternoon to play bridge. That schedule brought them to our house about twice a year. It was a flurry of dainty treats, talcy perfume, and Sunday best clothing. The conversation was sprinkled with the lingo of this precise card game, all while they shared the triumphs and tragedies of their lives. This lovely group of femininity had a spirit all their own. They leaned on one another through sons off to Vietnam, broken marriages, addictions, and the death of children. Collectively, they were stalwart.It is hard to imagine that bridge ladies and soldiers can have anything in common with a baseball team, but the truth is – there is a tremendous similarity. A group of young men gather at a baseball park, partake in the ritual of throwing, batting, and running, all while sharing the triumphs and tragedies of their lives. Their stories include the sadness of injury and loss, mixed with the joy of victory and accomplishment. Sound familiar? The team takes on a spirit of community that is unique to their circumstances but common to the human need to connect. We are stronger as a group than we can ever be alone.The bridge ladies, soldiers, and baseball teams all embody esprit de corps, this common spirit among its members that inspire enthusiasm, devotion, and strong regard for the honor of the group. What allows esprit de corps to develop? Most likely, it starts with a cause and extends to commonality, heart, vulnerability, willingness. As part of the brethren who look to Christ as our spiritual model, we again find ourselves in an esprit de corps realm. We are the body of Christ. He is the core of the corps! Embrace this spirit of the body, rely upon it, draw from it, build it up. We will all be stronger as a result.

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.† Ephesians 2:19-22

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