Thursday, February 11, 2016
surrendering the day of the bulldozer
There are days I wish I could stamp a big "A**" sticker on the forehead of certain individuals I encounter. You know, those folks who seem to blatantly disregard everyone else's existence while demonstration their own agenda of self entitlement.
I usually meet such people in traffic situations, but they really can show their ugliness just about anywhere. These are the people who cut in line - taking your place instead of waiting their own turn. They also talk loudly through feature films while kicking the seats in front of them at the movie theater. They are the characters who expect the whole world to revolve around them at all times while badgering and snubbing waitresses, cashiers, valets, and well... really anyone else who is unfortunate enough to serve them.
Yes, there are dark days when I have witnessed their childish tantrums demanding immediate service, complete attention, and full accommodation - all unconcerned with system, order, rules, laws. Instead, their way is the only way. Their time is the only time. They have little (if any) patience and/or discipline, and lack any social skill resembling good manners. They are the disrespectful. The aggressive aggressors. The bulldozers. Ugh. And I, for one, am exhausted with the bulldozers. Aren't you?
This week, I fell victim (again) to two bulldozing candidates... both leaving me frustrated with my hands thrown up in the air and asking, "Really, dudes??!!" Are you really that selfish? Are you really that arrogant? Are you really that overbearing? Are you really that stubborn?
Now, lest we forget that this is a blog devotional... right about now is when God reminds me of how selfish, arrogant, overbearing, and stubborn I too can be. For how often do I selfishly disregard God? How often do I expect Him to perform and attend to my personal needs, my comfort, my plans, my timing? How frequently do I cut off His pace and talk over His Word? Sigh... sadly, too often. WAAAAYYYY to often! Do you think He looks at me wondering, "Really, Vic??!! Are you really going to act that selfish? Are you really going to behave that arrogant? Are you really going to push your made-up sense of entitlement past my holy omnipotence and blindly expect things to work out for the best? Are you really that overbearing? Are you really that stubborn?
There is an event in scripture when Peter chooses to bulldoze. The story goes something like this:
Judas very publicly betrays Christ.
Trying to protect Jesus, Peter reacts (without consulting his Master) and draws his sword - cutting off the ear of Malchus, a servant of the high priest.
Jesus, knowing that God's plan of the upcoming cross was more important than Peter's panicked agenda, rebukes Peter's aggressiveness and kindly, lovingly reattaches Malchus’ ear.
Finally, the mob arrests Jesus and takes Him away to face trial while the disciples scatter in fear for their own lives.
Later, Jesus overcomes all sin and death by sacrificing Himself on our behalf and then rising from the grave - extending Himself as God's gift of salvation to all mankind.
(Thank you, Lord!)
I always think of Peter chopping off Malchus' ear whenever I find myself truly frustrated with others who tend to bulldoze. For really, we all are bulldozers, aren't we? None of us is innocent. We all think we know what is best. We all want to save our own skins. We all want to be comfortable, and live as someone entitled. But in truth, only Jesus is truly entitled. In His Name alone, we (the aggressive aggressors) must humbly choose to surrender our own agendas in order to know His love.
So, in an effort to remain faithful to the One who generously gave up His life in order to save mine... I hereby surrender the day of this pushy bulldozer to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Today is not about me or anyone else for that matter. No... today (and every day hereafter) is all about Jesus and the cross he carried in order to save mankind... in order to heal those who believe in His Way. Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty - Who was, and is, and is to come!
Lord, teach me to pray for those you put before me.
Help me to seek and trust Your Word first rather than battle against others in selfish aggression or panicked retaliation.
Show me how to use this life to love, and heal, and sacrifice, and forgive... all in Your Name;
Always for Your glory.
Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (John 18:11)
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