Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You Don't Know Jack

My kids used to play a trivia game by that title. I rarely played. I'm smart enough to know, I don't know squat. Proving it and calling it a game never really appealed to me. But I have been thinking how people make huge decisions and or pass judgments with out knowing enough. Here's an example. This idea was not original to me -- I just embellished it and made it into a story. It didn't happen to me, but it could. Most anyone of us could find ourselves here.

You’re driving down the highway, off to visit a friend who has just had a new baby. There is a bouquet of flowers and a brightly wrapped baby gift on the seat beside you.

A glance in the rear view mirror warns that a car approaching from behind is coming up way too fast. Shaking your head, and muttering something about that idiot who is in so much of a hurry, you ease off the gas a bit to slow him down. He flashes his headlights at you to show his impatience and you chuckle thinking, "yeah, yeah, just cool your jets fella." It happens to be a no passing zone, so you slow down even more to teach him a lesson. He beeps his horn and flashes his lights again. You dub him a maniac and check to make sure you’re holding steady -- a good 10 miles below the speed limit. "That'll show him," you think.

Then, still in a no passing zone, that idiot pulls out around you and speeds off down the road. As he passes you get a glimpse at his longish shaggy hair. He’s a fairly young man, but old enough to know better than to drive like a hot-shot hot rodder. You offer a few choice words and voice some notion like, "It’d serve him right if he wrecks." You could care less if he kills himself, but he’s endangering other drivers in the process. Jerk.

As you approach the hospital and pull into the visitor’s entrance there sits the maniac driver’s car parked at the emergency entrance. The driver’s side door is hanging open. Medical personnel are rushing toward the car. The young man with the long shaggy hair lifts a limp child out of the back seat and runs toward the white coat people. They motion to the father who is cradling a seemingly lifeless little body. “This way," they shout, "Hurry!”

Go ahead, say it with me..."Oh dear. Poor man. I hope his child will be okay." The speeding driver wasn’t an idiot, a maniac, a hot-rodder, or a jerk. He’s a desperate parent trying to help his child.

But there is a jerk in the story. Someone who jumped to conclusions. Someone who didn't know jack. It could have been me. You?

"...take every thought captive to obey Christ." "In your anger do not sin."

"Judge not, lest you be judged."

"And finally...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Phil.4:8

1 comment:

Brian said...

Hi Betsy, Thanks for sharing this lesson. I have learned a lot in the past few years about listening to people and not making decisions based on one persons facts. We need to gather all the facts and be willing to hear the whole story. I once had someone tell me about this idea this way. There was a big skyscraper in New York city that had a huge fire in the front of it. Three people were standing nearby the building when the news media came. They interviewed all three. The guy in the front saw the flames coming out of 10 floors of the building and he said the building was fully engulfed. The guy on the side said all he could see was a lot of smoke, but he wasn't sure which building it was coming from. The guy in the back couldn't see any signs that anything was burning. But the fact was that indeed the building was burning and it was a huge fire.