At work we used to have a monthly luncheon for all the staff to celebrate anyone’s birthday that happened to land in that month. It was usually a fun time because we got to mingle with employees who we didn’t get to see as much because they were located on a different floor. But this one time there was an encounter that wasn’t so great, and it left me wondering if I’d been transported back in time. 🚀

A phone conference had me running late and the room was already packed, but thankfully there was still food left. I quickly loaded up a plate then spotted who I thought was a friendly co-worker with an empty seat beside her, so I headed over and sat down.
Nancy was speaking with the person to her left, so she didn’t notice me right away. As she turned and saw me beside her, her face went sour. 😣
What’s that all about, I wondered and then found out.
“That seat’s for someone else. I’m saving it.” The ornery look on her face wasn’t worth dealing with so I got up and found a different seat.
“Is anyone sitting here?” I politely asked a different co-worker, not wanting to get my head bitten off again.
“It’s all yours,” Mary waved her hand over the chair, offering it to me. “How’s your day going?”
“Thanks,” I smiled in return. “Busy, as always.”

As we sat and ate, we chatted with others at the table. It was an exciting time because the firm was in a growth spurt.
Just after cake was served and birthday wishes were given, Teresa, the gal who Nancy had been speaking with when I first came into the room came over to me and asked, “Hey, what did Nancy say to you?”
I relayed what had been said and Teresa responded, “Well that wasn’t nice. Childish.”
“Yea, I already graduated high school,” I said and shrugged my shoulders. 🤷‍♀️
“Well, Cath never made it anyway, so you’re welcome to come sit with us.”
“No thanks, I’m good.” And that was it for me. I didn’t think any more about it. 😛

The next morning, I was approached by a co-worker who stopped me in the hallway. “Hey, I heard you and Nancy got into it yesterday, what happened?”
“Nothing happened,” I simply stated and continued my way.
Later that same morning when I was in the office of one of the attorneys that I was secretary for, he asked me the same thing! He and I had a good rapport, so I relayed the story and ended with, “Somewhere down the telephone line that story got rearranged.”
“Gossip rarely gets it right,” he said. 🤔

As I pondered where the twist in the story came from, I got irritated with myself that I was even putting thought into it. A bit later, as I was going through the mail, I wondered if everything was good between Nancy and me – she was the calendar clerk and we collaborated closely with one another at times.
It bothered me so much that I ruined my lunch hour over it. So, after lunch I headed over to her cubicle.
“Hey Nancy, how’s everything going today?”
“Good, busy. How about you?” Busy was the standard in our office.
“All is well. I sent you over a bunch of items this morning. Sorry for the onslaught.”
“It’s all good. Everybody’s that way lately. You should see what I’ve got going on for trials!”
“How are your girls doing?” She had three daughters whom I had met at a birthday party for Nancy – which Nancy herself had invited me to.
“They’re keeping me busy too!” I received a brief rundown of what had been happening in their lives.
We wished each other a great rest of the day and I moved on, satisfied that our work relationship was fine. 🤝

That occasion came to mind for me when I recently read Philippians 4:2-3. Here it is from The Message Bible.

“I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up.
God doesn’t want his children holding grudges.
And, oh yes, Syzygus, since you’re right there to help them work things out,
do your best with them. These women worked for the Message hand in hand with Clement and me,
and with the other veterans–worked as hard as any of us.
Remember, their names are also in the Book of Life.”

Scripture doesn’t tell us what the issue was between the two women – whether it was a personal thing or a doctrinal disagreement. But it doesn’t really matter, it’s unity that’s the key. For the good of The Way, the Apostle Paul urged Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences.

In the service there are different ranks of people in various squads, troops, divisions…, all for distinct functions but for one unified military. At work employees are there for the enrichment and stability of the employer. As Christians, we’re unified through Christ. ✝
But there still isn’t always unity, especially unity overall.
Here’s why unity is so important to Christians

This morning’s news reported on the growing tension between Iran and the U.S. in the FIFA Cup – their match-up is today.
Lord, please move the players to focus on the unity of the game and allow outside factors to melt away. Allow Your Spirit to breathe through the stadium. Let each individual athlete perform well so that no matter who wins, they all walk away in peace. Father, be with the fans and families of the game, calm their hearts and minds, and keep tempers cool. Through this contest let Lights shine for Your glory. It’s in Jesus name I ask. Amen.

“Behold, how good and
pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in
It is like the precious oil on
the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the
collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of
which falls on the
mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has
commanded the blessing,
life forevermore
Psalm 133

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