I have a distinct memory of what was in the top drawer of the chest of drawers my mother and daddy shared in those early years of my life. Among those items, including ironed handkerchiefs and cuff links, there was a small petitioned off area which held his service medals and ribbons and dog tags from his service during World War II. I distinctly remember picking up those tags and reading the information on them. I remember it included his name, next of kin, select service number, religion, and blood type . There was probably more, but these labels of who daddy was are forever etched in my memory. There were two tags on a metal necklace. As I searched for the reason for two, I learned one stayed with the soldier, if he was killed or seriously injured, and the other was taken back to the finder's commander. The soldier was to keep these on his person at all times during his years of service. It was a means of identification.
My dog has his own set of "dog tags". Hero has his little metal tag that goes on his collar stating he has had his rabies vaccine, the date, his "number" and a contact number for the vet. So far we have managed to not bite anyone, although I have had to save multiple very large dogs by sweeping him up as he goes for them. Hero seems to have a disconnect on the difference in his size and large dogs--or maybe he is just a bully. Most of the time he does not go after the small dogs--except for the little yipper down the street. Something about that dogs continuous high pitched yipping sends Hero into orbit. (I digress)
Here is the REALLY GOOD NEWS, Friends---I HAVE HAD MY SHOTS!! At long last I am vaccinated. We are NOT going down the pro and con trail of why or why not to have the vaccine. Leave it with this---I trust science, I am tired of being locked down, I do not want the virus--I had the shots. You can make your own decision. WHY, I wonder, do we not all have vaccine tags? I do have my little vaccine card and do not leave home without it. But what if I had a visible tag so all would know I am vaccinated.
These tags are all labels---explaining part of who we are. What if we had little metal tags for all of those labels we have been given and have given ourselves? Most of us would get a permanent crick in our neck from trying to drag all that around. And who has time to go through all those labels to figure our just who we are dealing with? The truth is--many--maybe most of those labels we have placed on ourselves. We have decided we are plain, untalented, mediocre, unpopular, wrong, ignorant, unwanted, and on and on. We are our own worst critics. Instead of wasting time critiquing ourselves (that's call naval gazing), what if we were focused outward. What if we were focused on the needs, suffering, pain, and loneliness of those God places in our path? I suspect the label tags would become much lighter--I believe we would forget all about those tags. If only we could look out and up instead of down and in.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”