Life's Driving Lessons

The Grace of Yielding

We returned last week from a two week vacation out West where we visited Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and made the trek up to Banff National Park in Canada. We drove over four thousand miles in the process. The Rockies were as stunning to the senses as I remembered them from visits in years gone by. But in contrast, the driving habits of those we met on the road rather defied my sensibilities. It didn’t seem to matter where we were. Even when passing through the Dakotas and amongst our friendly neighbors to the North, I swear the common courtesy of using a turn signal and yielding for lane changes have all but gone the way of the buffalo. Why is Western common courtesy nearly extinct? I guess it stands to reason that you cannot expect people who don’t use their turn signals to bother honoring those who do. Maybe it has something to do with the sparsely populated wide open spaces and people being accustomed to driving their broncos with no one else around.

At any rate, it gave me new appreciation for how vital it is to possess and exercise the grace of yielding in our everyday lives. Yielding is a grace because it a gift of unmerited favor extended to another.

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When to Choose to Lose

The benefit of choosing to lose is not just limited to weight loss. Although in most arenas of life losing carries negative connotations, especially if it is a choice; there are times when choosing to lose is the wisest, most beneficial thing we can do. In fact the Bible spells out some specific circumstances in which we are actually encouraged to choose to lose.

Choosing to lose is not something most people find easy to do. We do not want to lose. However, choosing to lose in a Biblical sense is rooted in a confident trust in God. It is only possible when we yield our expectations and preferred results to Him.

A case in point is when we find ourselves in an interpersonal conflict. Disagreements of opinion have a way of escalating as all the parties involved seek to prove the rightness of their point of view. We naturally associate proving we are right with winning the conflict. But the Bible, in its wisdom, indicates that in some circumstances, the best course of action is to choose to lose.

Some conflicts are ultimately won through choosing to lose rather than choosing to win.

The book of Proverbs gives a number of illustrations of this lose to win strategy in relational conflict. “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” (26:20) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (15:1) “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook a transgression.” (19:11) Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man. But any fool will quarrel.” (20:3)

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How I have learned to love tailgaters

I must confess I have hated tailgaters. I ‘m not talking about tailgaters as in party-before-the-football-game type people. I’m talking about people who make it a practice of driving in their vehicle too closely behind me. Yes I know that followers of Jesus are not supposed to hate anyone, not even our enemies. But I would like to invent an electronic digital sign to place on the rear of my car that could be activated at just such a time that says “BACK OFF!”

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