Tapping the Brakes

by DanWolgemuth on November 17, 2006

The race is on. In nearly every situation that I find myself, there is a rush, a press, a blitz. Face it, we’re an agenda-driven and a schedule-controlled people. Ask a friend how they’re doing and most will respond with some variation of busy, or even frantic.

We live in a world where we sprint from one congested location to the next. Traffic jams, check out lines, security screening. Even in the privacy of our homes, our Internet connection isn’t fast enough.

That’s exactly why, when somebody, anybody, perfect stranger or close friend, taps their brakes on our behalf, we notice… perhaps even marvel.  We’ve come to believe that “yielding” is a lost art, and so we squeeze as close as we can to the car in front of us so that merging traffic has to find another option. And then there’s the airport. Don’t even think about it in the airport. No eye contact, that’s the first part of the strategy.  Step up. Step in. It’s all about bin space, making connections, retrieving luggage… it’s all about me… first.

Jesus treasured brake tappers. He tried to get His disciples to understand that when somebody was prepared to interrupt their own agenda or traffic pattern for the sake of someone else… then they were getting closer to understanding the heart of sacrifice that He was all about.

“You first.” “Go ahead.”  “After you.” “I’ll wait.” “You take it.”

…the transformation of the heart changes our place in line. Followers of Jesus… well… they follow. They embrace the “last will be first, and the leader as one who serves” way of life. ~ Luke 22:24-27

Imagine what would happen if the people of God became known as the brake tappers. Project what the world would think if we were the ones that made room for others. Just think what it would mean if we intentionally made eye contact so that we could deliver mercy and grace.

Jesus had a description for this kind of selfless, sacrificial, generous living… He said it was “a beautiful thing”. ~ Mark 14:6

It pleases Him when we set our agenda aside. He delights when we yield. He celebrates when we have the courage to say no to ourselves… even in a grocery store line.

Even Jesus, especially Jesus, made room for line cutting, me first, don’t-cut-me-off kind of people like me. Wouldn’t He love it if I did the same

… after you.

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