We took a little trip to Philly yesterday. Our humble and small CPYU staff loaded up for a road trip that included lunch and a tour of Citizen’s Bank Park. That’s the home of the Phillies in case you didn’t know. It’s also the home of the NHL Winter Classic, the new hockey tradition that’s turned into a marketing bonanza for hockey and for all kinds of merchandise. In fact, it was the Winter Classic that made the tour even more interesting.

The field was buzzing with workers assembling the rink. Fascinating to watch. On prior Winter Classic telecasts we’ve been treated to a time lapse view of the rink assembly process. I can guarantee right now that if you tune in, you’ll get to see it again this year. I know because as part of the tour, I went into the Phillies radio broadcast booth. Gone were Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen. They’ll be back once the season starts. Sitting on Andersen’s desk spot was a TV camera positioned to record what was happening on the field. . . and it was recording. On the camera was a note. You can read the note for yourself. . .

Now, you have to understand that our tour guide was already way down the hallway. Out of sight. I was in the booth with Chris and Derek. Then, something crazy happened. I was magically transported in a moral maturity time machine back to my college days. Once there, all sorts of devious thoughts went through my mind. I even wondered if sticking a small handwritten note of my own in front of the camera for a few seconds would yield some powerful subliminal messaging for the millions of folks who watch the Winter Classic in a little over a week. Don’t worry. . . we kept our hands off.

When I got home, I posted this little ditty on Facebook with the picture of the camera: Oh man. . . this was far too tempting!!!! First, the NHL places an unsupervised camera in the Phillies radio broadcast booth to film the construction of the rink for the Winter Classic. Second, they put that sign on it. (It’s like saying, “Don’t eat the cookies that are in this cookie jar.”) Third, they let me into the booth unsupervised! Are you kidding me?!?! I guess you’ll just have to watch the time-lapse of the rink setup that the NHL broadcasts on the day of the game. . . .

Ron, a buddy of mine from college, was one of the first to respond. . . with this: You are a man of integrity. I’m sure you would not disobey the sign. Of course, if you need to be reminded that you’re a man of integrity you might have some integrity issues! Good call Ron. The two of us exchanged a few more posts, some of them recalling felonious behaviors (felonious now, not then. . . of course!) from those college days.

Ron’s little reminder got me thinking about integrity. . . especially in light of everything else I posted this week (Abercrombie&Fitch, Ellen, Sophia Grace, etc.). God made us as complete human beings. The Shalom he built into “all things” (including us) at Creation is the most perfect picture of integrity one could imagine. Now, in the midst of our brokenness and undoneness, we are called to pursue integrity in all things. The dictionary defines integrity as “the quality or state of being complete and undivided.”

Divided. . . that’s what we are amongst ourselves and within ourselves. It needs to stop. Jesus came into the world to make it stop. That’s what we celebrate on Sunday. As His followers, we should do all we can to make it stop. One day, He’ll make it stop for good. Until then, we need to humbly and gracefully expose and deal with the lack of integrity. . . without and within.

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