Skip to main content

Head down, feet in gear, here he comes!

You know that I find object lessons in a great many things - sometimes even in other individuals.  Today's lesson comes from someone I don't even know, but who "crosses my path" on a pretty frequent basis.  I have to pass through a few "senior" or "retirement" communities on my way to the hospital each morning, as the hospital is smack dab in the middle of retirement communities galore.  As I do so, I see various sights which thrill my heart, such as an elderly man or woman out walking their pet, someone riding along in a motorized cart getting a little fresh air, and even an occasional golf cart transporting someone who has probably lost their ability to drive much in an automobile to and from the grocery store.  One such "passerby" catches my attention more than others simply because he is quite "dangerous" in his behavior.  It is this elderly man, up in years I am sure, who is always wearing a pair of khaki pants, a shirt, and a hat.  His mission:  To walk till he drops! I see this guy barreling along at paces which would put most 50-somethings to shame!  He just tears up the pathway and leaves dust in his wake.  The issue with this guy is his lack of fear, though.  He just doesn't stop for anything - including oncoming traffic!  Nothing disturbs the pace he has set for himself - and I mean nothing!  I wonder just how many of us are like this little guy - barreling along at a reckless pace we have set for ourselves, all the while oblivious or unconcerned for the many things which could end up "doing us in"?

Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. (Hebrews 12:1-2 CEV)

Now this guy is simply out for a little exercise, so I cannot fault him for that, but I can fault him for putting his head down, never really stopping for any of the signs which say to "not cross" the street, and his seeming "trust" in others to stop for him despite their right of way. I am not sure how far he walks, but I think it must be a couple of miles.  I have seen him at various spots in my drive, so I know he can "do the distance".  He puts his head down, goes off the sidewalk to walk on the grass, gravel, or through flowerbeds to the side of the road. He cuts his own path - something I have seen back-fire for a good many of us!  This might just be one the thing which caught my attention first - his desire to go it his own way.  Now, we all know this can give us more than one headache!  Every time I have chosen to blaze my own path, I have either offended others by doing so, or managed to get myself all mired up in stuff I just shouldn't have been in at all.  You know what I mean?  We get all muddled up in some mess and then we wonder why!

The second thing is his pace - it is insanely fast.  It is like he picks up speed and just barrels through obstacles in his way.  I have seen him go through bushes instead of around them! This insanely fast pace is one thing you would think could fatigue him and bring him to a place of slowing down, but I see no signs of him slowing down.  In fact, he seems to be in great physical shape!  There are times when we set paces for ourselves which are kind of insane, though.  Paces which almost set us into a frenzy of activity, without regard for the environment we are in, or the obstacles in our path, can prove to be a little wearing on us. We might think we are doing well, but trust me on this, the pace cannot continue - eventually we will come up against something which is there to slow us down.  When this guy comes to that "something" which is designed to slow him down, he doesn't stop!  He barrels through - regardless of the danger.  This is the third thing which caught my attention.

This lack of fear as it relates to oncoming traffic is kind of weird.  He doesn't stop for the "Do Not Walk" sign, nor does he care if he is crossing against traffic!  He just steps out into the street and cuts a path, zig-zagging across the street in avoidance of the fast moving vehicles! Now, I don't think this is all that good of an idea!  In deference to the drivers who also must navigate around this guy, I'd like to say we delight in his enthusiasm, but come on!  Here is a perfect example of someone so bent on his own devices that even the best of safety measures designed specifically to protect him are ignored!  We drivers all know we are to yield to pedestrians, but this guy gives us no warning he is about to cross into our paths - he just lurches out there and keeps up his rat-race pace!  It is a miracle he hasn't been plowed down already!  We swerve into other lanes to avoid him, hoping for the best that there is no car in that lane!  

Herein lies the fourth and last lesson I see in this guy's behavior - his lack of concern for the safety of others.  I commend him for his desire to exercise.  I even commend him for his commitment to the goals he has set.  What I cannot commend him for is the position he places others in to ensure HIS path is maintained.  He seems to expect others to respect his right to pass, taking responsibility to maintain his safety, without doing much himself to ensure he passes safely!  I wonder how many times we are on a path somewhere in our lives without any real regard for what that path is doing to the others around us?  Maybe we are so "charged" up by the path we don't see the dangers in our way.  Maybe we just figure everybody knows we are on a mission and will get out of our way.  I don't know - but when we get so focused on "us" and "our way", we place others in danger!

So, there's my object lesson from the little walker dude.  Next time you see someone on their own path, maybe you might just want to slow down a little - they are probably about to cross into yours without much regard for how this will impact you!  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce