As you would imagine, I spent yesterday evening watching the MLB All Star Game.  This year was particularly special for some because Derek Jeter, longtime shortstop for the New York Yankees was making his final appearance in the game after announcing that this would be his final season as a player in the sport.  Certainly, the spotlight was on him last night.

Jeter has had an amazing career.  He will be retiring as the all time hits leader for the New York Yankees.  It’s one thing to be a hits leader for the Mariners, Rangers, Rockies or Marlins, but it’s another thing altogether to lead the Yankees in that category.   Some of the game’s greatest players wore the pinstripes, and Jeter is the one who leads them all in number of hits.  He was voted to start the game by the fans and hit in the leadoff position for the AL club.  In his first at bat, he smacked a double into right field off of Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals.  This morning, I woke up and checked on the trending topics on Twitter.  One was “Re2pect” and includes a lot of tributes to Jeter (who wears #2).

Jeter, while he has drawn quite a bit of attention off the field for his dating life, has never really been a flashy, selfish player.  He shows up to the park, does his job and does it well.  In fact, during the in game interview last night, it was pretty clear that he didn’t want to spend a lot of time talking about himself.  He is one of the most respected players in the game today because of his approach and love of the game.  As I was going through the readings for this morning, I came across a passage in 1 Thessalonians that I thought was very fitting for Jeter’s attitude about the game.

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.  Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

Jeter is an example of a sports star who doesn’t live in such a way as to draw attention to himself.  Sure, he gets plenty of attention, don’t get me wrong.  But I don’t see him as a guy that seeks it out.  It seems to find him.  Chances are, if he played most of his career in a city like Milwaukee, Phoenix or Cleveland, he wouldn’t be getting as much press – all while still being an outstanding player.  New York seems to have that effect.

So, how are you living your life?  Are you living in such a way that people respect you for the way you carry yourself?  Do you try to deflect attention or draw it to you?  I think it’s important that we take a look at what Paul has to say here, and learn that there is a way to live that will earn the respect of those around us.  It is the path to which we are called as followers of Jesus.

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