I could hear the siren, but sitting on a two-lane bridge waiting for a light to change, we could not pull over to yield right-of-way as the ambulance came around the corner. So we sat quite still. Then another siren, this time a fire truck came through the intersection, making a left turn against the light.
All vehicles yielded their right to continue through as directed by signal lights.
Of course, I can see a lesson in that. Yes, there are times we know we are right. We can cite the documentation, whether it be the constitution of our country or local regulations defining what our rights are. Sometimes we have to yield our rights.
That sort of goes back to the “legitimate differences” I mentioned in an earlier blog. The difficulty comes when it is a matter of principle, of a belief upon which we have built the foundations of our life. Unfortunately, many of those rights people cling to are based on personal desires instead of foundational principles.
The Bible refers to those as things of the flesh. Quite often people equate those with sexual activities, and the Bible does address those specifically, defining right and wrong. There are other personal desires that people long for as their right. It reminds me of Jabez’ prayer.
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!
That “enlarge my coast” would mean taking something that at that time belonged to another. At face value, the prayer appears somewhat greedy – me, my, me, me, me. Yet he acknowledged God’s position as well as His ability to provide – the God, thou, thine, thou – but fewer references to God than to his own desires.
Verse 4:9 does tell us that he was more honourable than his brethren, but was that enough? Apparently. The end of the verse completes the story.
And God granted him that which he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:10 KJV)
Just as the traffic stopped to allow the emergency equipment right of way, we need to sometimes yield our non-essential matters to those life impacting ones. We need to think in terms of cause and effect. Actions and consequences. What we do – or leave undone – does matter. Upon what do we base those life-altering decisions? Ourselves? Our experience? What we’ve been taught? Or the answers we seek for life’s greatest concerns?
Have we found them? Are we even looking for them? Are we as Jeremiah wrote:
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV)
Or have we waited too long, as the Pharisees heard?
Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. (John 7:34 KJV)
The choice always has been ours.