Springville Alabama is where I reside. It’s a small town. So small that we only have one traffic light. Smack dab in the heart of our quaint little town, we have a 4-way stop. That dreaded 4-way stop is, to say the least, a source of dissension, and above all else, a definitive source of road rage!
Most of the time people pull up to the stop sign, not having paid attention to who got there first. What happens is, you have four people sitting there profusely staring at each other, and no one knows who’s supposed to go! Everyone then tries to go at the same time, which causes many dirty looks, slinging of obscenities, and sometimes horn honks and/or the flinging of middle fingers. Then sometimes, people are paying attention but, you have this one joker who wants to wave you on, acting as if he’s being courteous or something, when in reality he’s messing up everything! Not to mention when someone waves me on, I refuse to go if it’s not my turn, because they’re not going to tell me what to do! Don’t judge! I’ve seen others sit in defiance at the 4-way stop! Rarely ever, although I’ve seen it happen a few times, does the 4-way stop go smoothly. When it does go smoothly, it’s as if Heaven has come down! As I was sitting there the other day, bracing myself for the barrage of emotions that were enevidibly to flood my spirit when I reached the stopping point, I realized that life is a lot like that 4-way stop.
Most everything in this world is, as my Mawmaw used to say, bassackwards. For those of you who don’t understand, that’s country talk for backwards. Anyway, the things of this world are screwed up. Children seem to be a financial burden instead of a blessing. Debt seems to be rewarded. Marriage has been redefined. You can change genders if you so wish. And all you ever hear are phrases like, put yourself first! Do something for yourself! Look out for number one! If you don’t look out for youself who will? This crazy world is all about being all about ourselves! Never once in the bible have I ever read that we should put ourselves above others! This is what the bible says in Philippians 2:3, “In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves.” I mean, just the fact that we’re human makes us susceptible to self centeredness. Throw in all the things that’s shoved down our throats via social media, tv, and radio, and you have the potential for the makings of some real buttholes! You may be wondering how the 4-way stop relates to life. Well wonder no more!
When we pull up to the 4-way stop, we’re supposed to look out for the other guy! When the other guy isn’t paying attention, and happens to mess up, we’re not supposed to ridicule, cuss at him, or hurl the bird at him! We’re supposed to forgive him! When some joker waves us on, we’re not supposed to sit in defiance, because no one tells us what to do! We should smile and accept his courtesy, albeit misplaced! I mean really, at the end of the day, does it really matter?! Nope. What matters is love! What matters is loving Jesus and loving others the way we’re supposed to love others. When we pay attention, when we really start looking out for, and loving the other guy, we stop worrying about who’s offended us! In fact, we may hardly even notice offenses, because love covers a multitude of sin! *1 Peter 4:8* And a multitude, my friends, is a whole lot!
Let’s start following the rules of the 4-way stop. Look out for the other guy. Do what you’re supposed to do, no matter what others do; unless that means running over the other guy, then that’s when we apply love! Let the other guy go ahead, even if it’s not the right order. Smile and bless him. Let’s put others above ourselves!