The trip to the North West was lengthy and fast paced. We were exhausted, but were blessed enough to rest for a couple of days at a mountain villa on Vancouver Island. From our balcony I regarded the sun as it descended behind the mountains. Hues of purple and lavender fading to blues and grays as city lights sparkled in the distance encouraged me to breathe in and consider the stillness. One thin line of pink light slowly disappeared as the outlying snow-covered mountains faded from view behind vaporous clouds hidden in the darkness.
My mind calmed as I considered the events of the day in the busy city of Victoria. I had noticed that while traffic is heavy, if pedestrians so much as place a toe upon the road, vehicles come to a halt, yielding right of way to the person on foot. That certainly would be a rare occurrence in Texas!
Texas is a big state, with an even bigger ego, barreling through, up and over. Don’t get me wrong, I love Texas. I have called Texas home for most of my life. I respect the pioneer spirit that gives Texan’s their strength. “No time for weakness,” says Texas. Texans are big and tough, loud and opinionated, and completely proud to be Texan. But they are also giving and kind. I am proud to be called a Texan. I love my Steel Magnolia Louisiana and Big Texas independent roots.
Yet as I pondered the idea of the traffic halting for the pedestrians so easily, I came to believe there was a lesson to be learned from my Canadian neighbors. Perhaps:
Yes, I understand sometimes a show of strength must be made and I have no desire to get involved in politics. This thought is more of a personal value declaration.
We don’t always have to barrel up and over to success. Were the cars to fail to yield, the pedestrians could have been wounded. Or worse, killed.
Sometimes we have it within our power to yield to another, to wait for them as they pursue their purpose. To wait UPON them as they pursue their purpose. It doesn’t prevent you from moving on, it just brings that person alongside you in purpose so they don’t get left in the dust.
I once heard a story of a marathon runner who stopped to assist a woman who had fallen. Rather than leaving her behind he picked her up. He carried her for a bit. When she was rested he set her down so she could cross the finish line on her own accord. She was slow. She was faltering. But he stayed beside her. He could have easily outrun her. He chose not to. He could have called someone else to deal with her. He chose to stay. Just because we can move on, move ahead, or have someone else take care of a situation doesn’t mean we should.
I serve a King who understood this principle. He served so others may become great! He left heaven, the greatest kingdom in all of time and space, to become a man and to serve others.
Paul tells us this:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And... He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2 Berean Study Bible
- Has there been a time in your life when someone with more power and influence has served you or taken the time to encourage you and spur you on toward a dream or goal? Have you taken the time to thank that person?
- Have you invested yourself in someone else’s hopes and dreams, taking the time to yield, just for a moment, so that others will reap a harvest along with yours?
For Further Study and Reflection:
- Matthew 20:26-28; 23:11-13;
- James 4:6;
- I Peter 5:6;
- Colosians 3:13;
- Romans 15: 1,2;
- Philippians 2:4;
- I Cor 9:22
Father, teach me to be like you! Help me to lead with a heart of a servant. Teach me to yield when it is needed. Help to be like the reed that bends but does not break and loves without measure.