The One I follow said we should do some counter-intuitive things like:
. give to the one who asks you
. if someone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles
. love your neighbor as yourself
So all week long the news feeds I get have streamed the video of Dr. David Dao being roughed up and dragged off a United Airlines plane when no one volunteered to give up their seat on the overbooked flight. Somehow the lot fell on him and he refused to cooperate with their mandate. A remarkably unfortunate incident on so many levels and one that could have been avoided in several ways.
In a conversation about the incident with my staff, someone asked this question: “Were there no Christians on board that plane?”.
So I have asked myself, how would I have responded had I been on that plane as the scene played out? Would I have stepped up to give up my seat for someone else and thus have my plans or my vacation being messed with? Or would I have just breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t me.
What does it look like to live this Jesus life on over-booked planes…and everywhere else for that matter.
I went to my seven year old grand-daughter’s track meet this week.
A couple of hundred children in what resembled an effort to herd cats.
Some kids, the middle of their race, would pause, find a parent in the stands, wave and then run on.
Some had to be reminded to cross the finish line before walking off the track.
And to some the lane markings were only mere suggestions.
If there was a future Usain Bolt in the mix he or she hid themselves well.
A part of the beauty of it for me was that the kids are engaged in some self-discovery. Trying something new without the limiting voices in their heads screaming: What are others thinking of me? How do I look? Am I any good at this?
They just give it a go.
Every now and then we should let our “inner-child” give it a go. You are not done discovering things about yourself.
What is the loving thing to say? What is the loving thing to do? (Then say it and do it)
Nothing against marriage counselors, business consultants or life coaches…because I am a fan of such people.
But if you take love out of the equation…I’m not sure what new strategy or bigger promise or greater effort is going to make that much of a difference anyway.
Love…first and foremost. At least that’s what I think the One I follow said.
This week I was called in to help sort out a bit of a mess.
I began by asking questions… trying to understand. Questions about process. It helped my understanding but didn’t bring a resolve. So I asked a different question: “Please tell me how you felt when this process got all jumbled up?”. That question was a game changer and it lead to a discovery of unintentional hurt and wrong messages that were sent. Once that was addressed we were able to address and amend the process.
If we just keep asking the wrong questions we only get better wrong answers.
I recently sat in on a round table of church leaders. They placed a huge premium on being seen as being right…and on being seen as righteous. It was an interesting and sometimes entertaining conversation on worldviews; methods and philosophies of ministry; and on understandings of God and people.
As I drove away, I ruminated on these two thoughts:
. Who is the real wise one: The one who refuses to admit they made a mistake and doubles down or the one who chooses a new direction?
. Who is the real brave one: The one who argues their point by belittling any who would see differently or the one who listens, seeks to understand and focuses on the issue?
Be wise…be brave.