It was an irritating scenario. The truck was blocking traffic. No one knew what it was doing. The driver didn’t seem to care about the inconvenience being created for others. He was blocking the road and everyone else would have to deal with it.
The only saving grace of the whole situation was that being a commercial truck, the name and number of the business was clearly printed for all to see.
And so people began to call. Some were kind and simply asked for the truck to be moved. Some were not so kind and more bluntly told the owner to move the truck. Others were rude, using language not fit for a family blog. (See: How to Respond to Mean People)
But what no one was—observant.
No one noticed the driver slumped over the steering wheel. No one realized he needed help. No one came to his rescue.
As a man lay dying inside his truck, the only response from those around were phone calls to the business asking the owner to get the truck out of their way.
This story could be a metaphor for our culture.
There are a lot of people cursing the trucks of this world. Much of it is understandable. Even for those of us with a high irritation tolerance, there are things in this world which are very irritating. Few things go as I think they should and a lot of people seem to be doing things I think they shouldn’t.
While I shouldn’t be irritated about everything in this world, there are many things which rightly deserve my irritation.
Yet what good does it do? Strangely, my irritation only really bothers me. It might make me less pleasant to be around, but for those around me they can simply stop choosing to be around me. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with me.
But more importantly, my irritation is blinding me to the big picture issue—people are dying.
We live in a world where people are dying. If you believe in the Christian message, you believe people are dying. If you trust the words of Jesus as true, you believe people are dying. If your trust has been placed in God’s grace toward you, then you believe those who haven’t experienced his grace are dying.
People are dying, but many of us are more concerned with how their death is irritating us rather than the actual fact that they are dying. (See: When Others Offend You)
While they are struggling in the driver’s seat, we are cursing the truck blocking our way.
Doubt it? Check Facebook. Read the negative posts and ask a simple question, “Does this post show compassion toward the person who hasn’t experienced God’s grace?”
Question it? Go to a public place like a beauty shop or coffee shop where group discussion happens. Are the political rants focused on the issues at hand or are they demonizing people who don’t think or vote like us?
Still don’t believe it? Listen on Sunday in the foyer of the church or during the fellowship time before Sunday school. How much of the gospel do you hear?
What amazes me about Jesus is that he came to this world but he was very rarely irritated by it. He didn’t approve of sin or condone inappropriate choices. He wasn’t light on the truth and didn’t back away from tough love. Yet he wasn’t irritated by the lostness of others; he was compassionate toward it—toward us. (See: What I Mean When I Say ‘You Are a Sinner’)
Having opened our eyes to grace, I would think he would expect us to be the same way.
Come to think of it, I can only think of one group of people who irritated Jesus—the religious people who were irritated by everyone else.
We do not live in a perfect world. For the Christian, many things happening are dishonoring God and should cause great mourning within our hearts.
But there is a bigger issue than the visible effects of sin we see on a daily basis. There are dying people all around us and we have the good news which can bring them alive. (See: Never Give Up on People)
Before we curse the truck, let’s make sure we check on the driver.