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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why Me?

Have you ever been in traffic like downtown Toronto?

I remember one time trying to get from a side street on to University Avenue. Now this one corner had more poles than I have ever seen totally blocking my vision to look for a break in the traffic. So I did what we all do. I crept forward more and more until I could see well past the poles.

Of course I was then somewhat blocking the pedestrian walkway across the street. Most people just go around the front or rear of the vehicle and give you a look. But out of the corner of my eye as I watched this one man visibly upset, and glancing very briefly at him, I could see he was giving me obscene gestures as if to say, “Who are you to dare block my way?”

I didn’t have a choice. I had to see the traffic. I became upset and thought to myself, “What kind of jerk is this? Can’t he see that I have to be here to see when my turn comes? I was frustrated thinking, Why him? Why did I have to get such an inconsiderate boob to deal with?

Suddenly into my head rushed some thoughts. “You don’t know what this man has been through.” “Maybe he was abandoned by his parents as a kid.” Maybe his wife walked out on him this week and took his son with her. Maybe he was just really hungry. Maybe he had to sleep on the street. Maybe his dad beat him regularly.”

The Lord was answering my query. I asked why and God was giving me the possibilities. So then tentatively I thought, “But why do I have to put up with such unjustified anger from someone crossing just at the time I was there?” The thought popped into my head, “Maybe you are the only christian who will pray for him.” Maybe nobody cares what happens to him. Maybe nobody ever has.”

So I prayed for him. I asked God to give him a chance to meet the only one who can help, when there is no help. I told God that I did not know why we had to meet that day but Jesus died for both of our lives on that day, many years ago, for me and for him, in fact all of us. I told God I was sorry for my reaction and asked him to bless this man who had walked into my life for a very brief moment in time, so that I could pray for him.

I had a choice. I could yell back at him from inside my car. I could tell him where to get off. It is your choice sometimes. There is always a choice. Of course he didn’t deserve my prayer, but did I deserve to have the God of this universe allow his son to die on a cruel cross for my sins?

So do you care? Do you care enough to forget your justified anger, to pray for someone that nobody else will pray for? Will you pray for that driver that cut you off? Or will you just chalk it up to another jerk that crosses your path? Will you be faithful and pray for an undeserving man, a man who has no one to pray for him? It’s up to you. It could have been a coincidence that you met, sort of, on that street corner. Or it could have been a God-incidence.

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