September 13, 2023
I was invited to be in a car parade. It coincided with a day that I would be with one of my grandsons who loves cars, so I didn’t have to take long to say yes to the invite. I really didn’t know what this was, but it ended up being pretty cool, at least for me and my grandson Titus. Apparently, this event uses people’s love of cars to gather these folks together in order to raise money for charitable causes in the area. From what I saw, they do a good job of that. Well, one of the charities was PAL (Police Athletic League). I also found out that there were a number of police officers (some retired) who were partly responsible for this event. Therefore, a force of County Police officers showed up to escort this parade of about 100 cars, which meant that they shut down traffic so we could ride unhindered.
Now, if you are in the parade, that is pretty sweet. But, if you are stuck at an intersection on your way to your kid’s soccer practice, or work, or meeting someone for an appointment and you have to wait while 100 cars go by at about 30 m.p.h., then you may not be quite so impressed at the charitable causes that benefit from this. After driving through a number of local municipalities, the parade headed toward I-94. I can’t believe what I am seeing. They just shut down the freeway for this parade! Again, it was quite a thrill for my 5-year-old grandson, but I am thinking of all the terms and phrases that are being uttered in all those cars who, without notice were stopped on the freeway, for, well, me and a few others. “Sorry, sorry, sorry, we will hurry, sorry, sorry, sorry (they couldn’t hear me anyway).
Have you ever been inconvenienced? Of course, you have. We make plans only for them to be interrupted. Sometimes things go according to plan, but so often things happen that we did not plan on. By the time you read this, there are likely several things that you can point to, just today that did not go according to plan. This got me to thinking.
The entire life and ministry of Christ was a major inconvenience. Everything that he did in the humbling of himself to become one of us was the result of setting aside the benefits and prerogatives his deity. He got tired. He was hungry. He was thirsty. His body hurt. He had to wait on traffic. He paid taxes. He had to listen to people complaining. He had to endure rejection and hostility. In the end, he died. He endured the humiliating and excruciating death by crucifixion. It wasn’t that, like us, he was inconvenienced at times in his day, it was that his entire life was that, for you, for me. If this sounds like Philippians 2.5-8, it is supposed to. Which is the basis for the charge in v.4. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” I’ll try to remember that when I am stuck in traffic and a parade of cars is going by. Seriously, I need the Lord’s help to follow him and I need to realize that following him means to follow the One who set aside himself for us.
“Lord, help me to embrace every inconvenience today as an opportunity to put you on display by considering others more important than myself.”
Grace and peace,
Sunday’s Text: 2 Samuel 21.15-21