21 Feb Becoming a First Time Visitor
Read Matthew 9:35-38 (NLT)
Thought for the Day: Today I will observe more and conclude less!
It has been said that there are three phases everyone goes through when starting a new job. In Phase One, a person doesn’t know what they don’t know. In Phase Two, a person learns what they don’t know. In Phase Three, having been around long enough, a person finally knows what they know. The great thing about the first two phases is that although there are pre-existing relationships and conflicts under the surface, not knowing gives a person the best opportunity to look at things with fresh eyes. Without being ‘in the know,’ it is only possible to make observations on what is visible at the surface level. However, most people move to phase three too quickly, read into their co-worker’s perceived tone and behaviors, and then start drawing their own conclusions.
As Christians, we need to observe more and conclude less. To put it simply, we need to learn to live as if we are in the first and second phases of a new job. When Jesus came face to face with crowds, He felt compassion and not outrage. Rather than getting upset at the countless ways people fell short, Jesus took a step back and observed what was really going on. He even declared that people were like sheep without a shepherd. While the religious leaders of the day routinely condemned others for being helpless, Jesus took a different approach. He took time to stop and observe what was really going on. This allowed Jesus to operate from a place of compassion. He then asked His disciples to take time to pray.
How much better off would we be if we learned to act like we really don’t know? Rather than rushing in with answers, many times the most important thing we can do is slow down and observe what is really going on. Today, countless individuals around us are living lives that can kindly be described as “confused and helpless.” If all we do is rush in and respond, we can easily become part of the problem ourselves. Instead, let’s slow down, observe, and pray. Then, God will show us what we don’t know and the Holy Spirit will teach us what we need to learn.
Pastors Stan and David