We were on vacation recently. Road tripping through the beautiful Canadian west from Saskatoon to Victoria and beyond! We only had three kids with us so it felt kinda weird. Probably what ‘normal’ families feel like most of the time. We only needed one hotel room and people were far more willing to let us sleep over! Shocking really.
We were in the city of Vancouver driving along in the middle lane because our GPS told us that’s where we needed to be. We listened religiously to Beatrice, our phone GPS, Mable is with the Bullet in the Sates somewhere! There we were, going slightly above the speed limit, like most people. It wasn’t super heavy traffic and things were going smoothly. Suddenly, this car whips by us on the right, honking, shaking his fist and a particular finger and clearly saying nasty things to us. I am not a great lip reader but I had no problem with that one! Once he zoomed in front of us he shook his fist some more and made violent pointing directions indicating that we really should be in the slow-moving traffic lane.
Maybe he just didn’t like our Saskatchewan license plate! My husband checked his speed. Yup, just over. NOT under. We weren’t slowing anything up. We checked our lanes and all that. Yup, right where we belonged. NO IDEA why he was so mad at us.
So we refused to move. We were doing things in accordance with the laws and guidelines of the Vancouver freeway system. And yet we felt slightly violated, and suggested that perhaps that guy needed a valium or something. It is possible he might have had an anuerism or something later on – I could see his veins bulging!
We decided to forgive him and laugh a little at his over the top road rage at people who were driving the right way. We had a moment of thankfulness that we were in Canada and not somewhere where people shoot other drivers when they tick them off.
The flower that bloomed in that situation was this:
Sometimes people get mad at us when we
are doing things right – just the way God asked us to.
Yup, nothing new there I know. That might just be a perennial!
Guaranteed that people get mad at us when we do things wrong but when we’re doing it right? Yeah, that just doesn’t seem to make sense. You may have been in the past or may be right now in a place where you feel God has called you to specifically and it is really ticking someone else off! Perhaps a slight irritation, an inconvenience or full on rage about your current decisions or location or vocation or situation.
Your decision might put them out, cause them to adjust their expectations of you or themselves, force them into a place they were hoping not to go. God sees how your obedience will affect other people and He has a bigger picture in mind than what we can see or understand in the midst of the circumstances we find ourselves.
- Maybe you got that promotion so you can have an influence on the person in the office next door and your friend isn’t actually up to the challenge of the job – but they don’t know that.
- Maybe you’re on that trip right now to encourage and help every single person you meet along the way – and the relatives taking care of your dog are needing the lesson in animal care.
- Maybe you are living in that house to be a light in that neighbourhood for this particular season – even though it doesn’t seem to make sense to move right now.
- Maybe it is just to help you grow grace in your life and teach you to get along with the person who is mad.
- Maybe He chose you to carry that baby to term because He knew someone else wouldn’t.
- Maybe He knows that your obedience is going to tick that other person off and so He actually is dealing with that person and not you at all!
- Maybe you are driving in that lane because the GPS told you to and you won’t be getting a ticket today!
The point is…our obedience might make other people uncomfortable and that’s okay. Your obedience is extremely important to God. He can handle the disappointment or discomfort of the other people who may not like what you’re doing. Look at how disobedience went for Saul, back there where he was waiting for Samuel to show up…God had Samuel delay, testing Saul’s obedience, he didn’t pass the test and the scripture, “God loves obedience better than sacrifice!” was spoken that day.