The Royal Guidelines

Today I was walking home from dropping my wonderful girlfriend Annie off at the train station, sad day, and I happened to wander past Buchingham Palace. Now I had been by before but I hadn’t happened by at eleven am. I was reminded quickly that at eleven am was the time that the Royal Guard changes and it is all official and touristy. There were thousands of tourists from all over the world lining the huge Palace gates cramming in to try and get a picture of a man in a red coat and a big black puffy hat. I have to admit, the postcards look great, but those pictures were taken by people with really big lens on their camera and that is how they got so close. The guards are a long ways away and behind big gates. As I stopped and watched the changing of the guard there was the music of bag pipes coming from the other direction. Over the next ten minutes in waves the Royal Guard band marched up and was followed by the Queen and a new ambassador from Israel. It was a huge deal and I just by chance was walking by when it happened. I love this city, always something going on. But what I was struck by as I stood and watch was the amazing resembelance of the Royal Guard band to the Texas Tech band. Both wear goofy red suits and have silly hats and their music isn’t that great. Now granted, I am spoiled, I go to Texas A&M, home of the best marching band in the nation, and I would argue the world, so I am spoiled. But there were more comparisons that favored my Aggies the longer I stood there. When the band and the Guard walked up they were a bit out of line, they had to stop and have their commanding officer step off how far apart they should be. It was quite commical as he yelled and they shuffled their feet to look down the row until he stopped yelling. Seeing red coats with poofy hats shuffle their feet on the gravel, I couldn’t help but laugh with the rest of the tourists. Back in College Station, on our Kyle Field, the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band steps off with exact and precise care. They are never out of order and they are always in perfectly straight rows. Those watching, whether Aggie fans or not, are usually astonished and quite appreciative of this fact. But as I thought about it, the Aggie band has a bit of advantage over the Royal Guard, one besides the fact that they are Aggies. The Aggie Band has the advantage that they march on a football field. A field with yard markers and hash marks, end zones and out of bounds. When they are marching they have guidelines to follow to make sure that they are the best that they can be. They practice a lot sure, but they have the advantage that they practice a lot with a consistent pattern to follow. I have been talking to a lot of people here who don’t believe that there is a specific or absolute truth to life. I do. When looking at their lives they see freedom and no boundaries to what they can do. They are marching to their own orders and they are lined up with what they think is right. But in reality they are looking a little silly to those watching as they shuffle their feet to line up with the truth that they defined that day. The standard that they set for their week. But they will have a tough time the next day because as their reasoning goes, that standard is not permanent and they will have to adjust to it the day after next also. I would hope that when people look at my life from the outside the would see a precision and exactness to the excelence that is laid out by the guidelines that I was raised with. I hope that when I step out, I am stepping out to the beat of some thing greater than myself. And besides that, the dressings of a focused life look a lot better than a red coat and black fluffy hat.