Yesterday, I just didn’t have my usual energy. Everything required so much effort, but everything still needed done. Can you relate?
While running errands on a cold, blustery day, I dragged myself from one stop on my to do list to the next. My arms and legs felt like lead weights, but I forged on through the wind and snow anyway.
Halfway through my list was a stop at the bank. I couldn’t use the drive-thru because I was driving Old Blue, a car as old as our daughter who’s in college. Years ago, the aged Buick had the misfortune of being hit by a flighty deer running full-force into the driver’s side door. The deer incident rendered the window inoperable. And though the stuck window may have improved our health—drive-thru fast food is completely out of the question–it is a bit inconvenient. Take toll booths, for instance. Yet I digress.
So I had to walk into the bank to complete my transaction. I stopped at the desk, filled out a deposit slip and took a few steps toward the only open teller’s window. At that point, a lady entered the door, looked my way and picked up her pace, darting straight toward the teller and leaving me in the dust to contemplate the fate of mankind, should such acts of incivility prevail around the world.
Soon I stopped thinking globally to feel slighted locally. Funny how I can get riled up over such little things. But I kept telling myself, let it go…just let it go.
When I started up the old Buick and puttered down the road, I pondered the idea of yielding.
Most of us don’t come into this world as natural yielders. I know I didn’t. But, it’s something I have been learning, sometimes by trial and error, but even more so by watching others who show me how it’s done. My Grampa Clark disciplined himself to live his life as a true yielder.
If anyone came to the door, he invited them to come in and sit down. The TV was immediately turned off, not turned down, and his attention was given whole-heartedly to his visitors. He let the conversation swirl about the house and conveyed he had all the time in the world.
But Grampa yielded in more than just the little things. After many years as a farmer,
he went to work as one of many employees on my dad’s nursery. While Grampa was the father, he subdued his will to let his son be the boss. I never sensed resentment, but rather, he was a hard-working man who showed up early every morning and put in a hard day’s work. He demonstrated day in, day out the humility–and the strength–of yielding.
The Bible calls this meekness. Strength under control. It’s turning our eyes from ourselves and looking with sensitivity into the lives of others and choosing, no matter how hard or inconvenient, to do what is loving and good.
Funny that on the heels of my driving and pondering and still trying to “let go,” God had a surprise awaiting me at the next stop on my list. As I walked into the post office foyer, a woman entered from the opposite door. There were two doors to enter the lobby–one for each of us. Great! Yielding would not be an issue this time. Or would it?
She caught my eye, opened the door closest to her and invited me to step through in front of her. I gave her the subtle flick of the hand and the tilt of the head that said, no, no, you go first and started to reach for the handle of the door near me. Yet she responded with warm insistence and I passed through her open door into a bustling post office lobby.
Could she have fathomed what her one small act of yielding would unleash? Instantly, I was released from the resentment I’d carried all the way from the bank. Instead of trudging, I regained a little spring in my step and felt invigorated by the winter air as I opened the door and stepped out into a curiously brighter world.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 [NIV]
And what a wonderful world it will be.