When I took the pooch out earlier today for her morning constitutional, I was simply enthralled by the crisp blustery wind, the chill in the air and the freshness that seemed to prevail all around me! Fall is definitely in the air here in North Carolina. It is funny to me how one day can make all the difference. Yesterday we took a little road trip and visited a couple of smaller communities within a thirty minute window of where we currently rent our apartment home.
While this locale is pretty, it is just a little bit too busy for me. I figure that since we’ve moved about 3000 miles to the other side of the country, I want us to settle in a place that has more of what I consider the old southern charm! Due to its location in the middle of the Research Triangle, this area is growing rapidly and reminds me of the Bay Area (minus the hilly terrain!) back in California.
When we arrived in the community of Fuquay-Varina on Sunday, I pulled over in a city park and lowered the top of the car so that we could better absorb the feel of the town. After a while though, I noticed that Piper was getting hot, so I put the top back up and turned on the air-conditioner! Today’s noticeable change in the weather would compel me to leave the top down and start thinking about putting a couple of extra sweaters in the trunk for my wife and I.
At 10:29 PM EDT tonight, the sun will cross the celestial equator which is the imaginary line in the sky above the earth’s equator from north to south. This significant event signals the official entrance of the fall or autumn season, which marks the beginning of the transition from summer to winter.
The thought of transition made me think about something the Pastor said at church yesterday. He told of a recent incident when he and his wife came upon a head on accident. When they pulled over to help, he was greeted at first by the driver of one of the vehicles, a newer model pickup that had the passenger’s side of the cab completely smashed into the seats. The Pastor mentioned to the man that he was a miracle since he survived the impact, but the man would have nothing to do with his comfort as he was very angry and critical of the other driver.
The other driver was a young teenage girl who had only received her license a few days previous to the accident. She was still in the car and had sustained some head trauma. So the Pastor stayed with her, took her hand and spoke reassuring words of encouragement and peace to her. He was also intent on protecting her from the wrath of the other victim. Commenting: “I immediately went into defense mode for once a father, always a father!”
The Pastor used their experience to illustrate a strong point of walking in Christian love. He encouraged all of us to ask ourselves the question when we become involved in the pressure situations within the lives of those we encounter each day, “Am I going to be an attorney spelling out the facts on how to best protect yourself and take care of things in the natural realm, a judge who negatively critiques their actions, or be a part of the big or small miracles that God wants to perform in their lives?”
That statement hit home for me as my wife and I have painfully endured the first two actions from people close to us. But we have also experienced those who have humbly and graciously loved on us and thereby became part of God’s miraculous solutions. And let me tell you… The latter is far more enjoyable, uplifting and encouraging than those whose actions tended to inflame the already destructive force that we faced!
Those who became part of the little and big miracles in our life are somewhat like the fall season. They have helped us to successfully transition from one season to another. Philippians 4:5 instructs us to “Always be gentle with others…” (Contemporary English Version) The Message Bible is even more succinct in its verbal brevity stating: “Make it clear to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them.”
The Christian individuals who immediately began to criticize and negatively judge our actions and go off with their repertoire of natural solutions they thought would restore my wife to health (without ever considering what we had already been doing in the natural realm) and gave us no support in our stand of faith, immediately placed themselves in an adversary role. As I’ve said many times before, they quickly became an aspiration of the problem and not part of the solution.
I think that the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that this is not the course of action that we should take when endeavoring to assist others in need! What do you think? When you hear someone talking about you, do you want to hear them say that they remember you as being distant to their needs as an attorney that could only give them the (already evident) facts, one that critically judged their actions (whether they were right or wrong) or one who became personally involved for the long run by lovingly caring, assisting and supporting them?
Hopefully… the answer to that is another one of those “no brainers” to you. For when in doubt, humble yourself and choose LOVE! Have a great week. Stay in tune to God’s Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting TO BE LIKE Today?”