My dad used to put me to bed with stories from his day or from back in the day. He told me lots of sports stories from his childhood and his days at college, especially when he attended Washburn University and played basketball for the Ichabods. Dad identified as an Ichabod as much as he did being a Jayhawk. After his second year playing basketball as an Ichabod, he made the hard call to hang up his sneakers in service to his bigger dream of some day being a doc. He loved playing hoops but didn’t think he could continue to keep up his grades while doing so. Dad transferred to KU and gave up glory on the court for what he felt was God’s calling on his life – serving the sick with his heart and soul. And, so he did.
Ichabod is a Hebrew word that translates to English as “no glory, inglorious, or where is the glory?). In the book of Samuel the story of Israels defeat, the loss of the Ark, and the death of Eli and his two sons, brings deep despair and deeper loss of identity. Phinehas (son of Eli) wife, as she gives birth to her son, declares his name to be Ichabod because the glory has left Israel on this darkest of days. Talk about a tough identity, Ichabod was born into a defeated community, no dad, no mom (died giving birth) and no grandpa either. Tough start to say the least.
Chabod is another Hebrew word. This one translates in English as “full glory, the full glory of the Lord.” One I of a difference, huh. The difference between full glory and no glory comes down to an I. When I seek glory, when I make it all about me, and when I seek to be the one served, it seems I get in my own way. You and I do not make good Gods. You and I are a house divided, aren’t we? Maybe we are in need of the great physician to be made whole. Maybe we’re not meant to go it a lone. Maybe God’s infinite love is the one L of a difference toward becoming all one. Maybe?
God, help me admit my eye problem is really an I problem, I’ve just had a hard time seeing it. God, help me allow you and your glory to overtake my ego and self centered need for applause, praise, and prominence. God, help me serve you, your creation, and those creatures you’ve placed in my path. God, help me be more conduit than cul-de-sac and remember it’s together we transform. Always together. God, help me lose the I and gain Chabod instead – one I of a difference. God, help me to live hard and love harder.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…