I pulled my car up to the green light setting the blinker on to make a left-hand turn. The intersection was crowded with cars all containing anxious souls in a hurry to get home after a long day. At every angle surrounding my car was another driver attempting to make their own turn. A friend was in the passenger seat beside me and we both looked on as a couple engaged in conversation made their way through the chalky white lines of the pedestrian walk. We watched and we waited… and waited some more while I made a quip about it. It appeared that the couple was completely unaware of the three different drivers who were all attempting to move forward but required to wait as they strolled through the intersection.
- I experienced fear of missing the light when I was growing tight on time.
- I felt guilt for my sarcastic quip because I held an expectation that these two strangers would understand the busyness around them.
- And I voiced my ill conceived quip aloud to my dear friend seeking affirmation for my poor reaction- not response- to a random hiccup of life.
- Who am I to demand two innocent people to move a little faster just so that I may not experience uncomfortable emotions that are just a part of every day life?
We must only look to the words of the apostle Paul in his letters to the Galatians to bring clarity to these barriers and why we come up against them. The Galatians had accepted the false teaching of others and sought to be justified in their actions by the Mosaic Law.
Galatians 1:10, Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
To be a servant of Christ, we must let go of our need to have others accept us. We deeply desire for others to be like-minded with our thoughts and opinions so that our choices are not only pleasing to others, but be pleasing to ourselves. We do this so that we may not have to experience the uncomfortable emotions that are a part of every day life. We do this to serve the minds and emotions of others, and ourselves. And we do this to justify our sin. But this is not of Christ. If we do these things to serve our own minds and emotions, we would not be servants of Christ.
Sometimes our hearts are tested, we gamble, and we lose. But count all these tests and trials as joy for they are the moments that teach us what true servanthood in Christ must resemble. They are the moments that teach us what real grace looks like. And sometimes they happen in the middle of an intersection.