When in Rome…

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A look into the thought process of how I came to write this post.  See if you can follow:

For several years, I’ve been playing fantasy baseball.  For several years, I would make it to the finals of the playoffs in one of my leagues, but always lose and come in 2nd place.

Being a superstitious guy, I thought changing the name of my team would bring a better streak of luck.

Being from Connecticut, I was brainstorming clever names for my team to properly represent my home state.  But because Connecticut doesn’t actually have their own sports franchise, nor does anything rhyme with the name, you can see where my dilemma appeared (to find out what I would name a professional sport franchise from CT if ever given the chance or resources, read post here).

I thought of coming up with a team name affiliated with New York, because that’s where I was born and because I am a huge Yankees fan.  But the only mascot I could think of that rhymed with “Yankees” was the “Crankies,” and I didn’t feel like naming my team after a 4-year old after just having woke up from a midday nap.

I thought of incorporating Boston/Massachusetts because I have been living here for the past five, going on six years.  But because of my strong distaste for Boston sports teams, I couldn’t give in to having an exclusively, Boston-related team name.

I started thinking of names that incorporated all three states.  The New Yorkachusetts.  The Massayorkicuts.  The Reason-for-traffic-when-you-drive-from-NY-to-Boston.  But, as you can tell, nothing stuck.

Then I started looking up what people from each state were called.  For example, if you were from New York, you were obviously referred to as a New Yorker.  Did you know someone from Connecticut is either called a Nutmegger or Connecticuter?  Pretty lame.

While there are many names associated with Massachusetts residents (e.g. Bay Stater, Bostonian, Massachusite), one particular slang term caught my eye: the Masshole.  If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, the name is derived from exactly the word that first pops in your head.  And if you’ve ever been to Boston, or driven anywhere in the streets of Massachusetts, you will understand where that name comes from.

Having been a resident in MA for quite some time now, I will have to admit that I am slowly converting to becoming a Masshole.  Reckless driving, speeding, tailgating, turning without signaling, swerving in-and-out of traffic… the only things missing are the finger gestures and obscenities (some of which, I confess to have muttered under my breath).

Author H. Jackson Browne, Jr. once quoted, “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”  Besides the color and make of my car or my license plate, driving is one of those things that preserves my anonymity.  I can honk at someone for sitting at a green light, or cut someone off for driving too slow in the fast lane, because I know I’ll never have to confront that person face-to-face.  As long as I don’t get caught and can get away with it, it’s easy for me to live up to the name so many Masschusetts drivers merited until this point in history.

My aunt told me you can tell a lot about a person from the way they drive.  This is probably what she meant.

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Gospel Connection:  How are the fruits of the Spirit manifested in your life (Gal. 5:22-23)?  In what ways can you put to death the work of the flesh (vv.19-21)?  Do you look for recognition when a fruit blossoms in your life? Do you hide your identity when a desire of the flesh comes to surface?  How does Christ make a difference in the way you live, even if it is something as trivial as driving?

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
vv. 24-25 

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