In the Ring

Charlie 030820 1I was running late for church one Saturday evening, but I was extremely hungry and thought I could concentrate on the message better if I ate dinner before I got there.  That sounds like solid spirituality to me.  So I drove quickly to one of my favorite fast food restaurants, grabbed my order from the drive through window and took off.

I was speeding down a road I was not familiar with when all of a sudden I see my lane is about to end.  I signaled to get over and saw a white truck behind me.  The driver of the white truck, for some reason, sped up.  I suppose he didn’t want me ahead of him.  In a  “Go, or no go” situation I chose to go and got over in front of the white truck.

I was eating my burger and shoving fries in my mouth when I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the white truck tailgating.

I knew he wasn’t a tailgater, tailgating, to get to his tailgate party!

He followed me all the way to church.  I pulled into a parking spot and this big guy hops out of his truck.  All I could hear was, “LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!” and then the fight bell go off.  The man started speaking loud and using French words.  Well, that’s what people say anyway, “Pardon my French!”  I pointed out to him we were in a church parking lot and there were children around, so he toned it down.

I asked him, “Are you hurt, or did I damage your truck?  He replied, “No.”  I responded, “Then why are you so angry?  And in fact, I had plenty of room to get over, but when you saw my blinker you sped up.”  The man was wearing a black jacket from “Midas”.  A company that fixes mufflers and other things on cars.  I approached him and asked, “What’s going on in your life?  You seem so angry.  Is your job okay?  Having problems at home, with your wife?”  I saw a ring on the proper finger.  Then I offered, “Can I pray for you?”  It was then he bolted back into his truck and sped off.

A friend of mine sent me a recording the other day of a conversation he had with his boss’s boss.  We talked about it a few days after that and I asked for his permission to speak honestly about what I heard.  He gave me that freedom, and I said, “I felt as if you walked in there as a fighter and not a peacemaker.”  My friend got the message and agreed.

Whenever you find yourself in the ring, in the middle of a disagreement, you have two positions you can take.  Either a fighter, or a peacemaker.  Trust me, for I have learned, being a peacemaker is the way to go.  Yes, perhaps you were wronged, or your rights were violated, and you could be right, but what is more right is saying or doing whatever you can to bring peace.

Here is a different translation of a very familiar verse, Matthew 5:9 from The Message (MSG):

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”

I encourage you to climb out of the ring and do your best to be a peacemaker.  You and the world will be a better place for it.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

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