During the last 2 months, I have spent more time waiting in lines than I have in the last 10 years, thanks to COVID-19. As the primary shopper for our household, I have literally spent HOURS waiting to get into stores.
Tired of spending time on my cell phone, I have resorted to watching people (covertly, of course!). This has proved to be both fascinating & enlightening. I love the lessons God teaches me in the everyday things!
I wanted to share something that has really stood out for me in recent times – seeing the parallels between people waiting in line and our walk with the Lord. In this analogy, imagine the store is “heaven” and these are the people who want to get there.
This person ignores the line and walks up to the door, thinking that he will be able to get in. He has no interest in knowing the “Rules of Entry.” When the Rulebreaker find out that standing in the line is the only way into the store, he looks at the line and walks away in disgust. He is not willing to submit to the process.
The Complainer is clearly impatient. He complains loudly about waiting in lines, wearing masks, the quarantine, the government, etc. Although he is physically standing in line, his heart is not submitted.
This is the person that stands in line for a while, but then leaves because he grows tired of waiting.
The Fair Weather Friend
Closely related to the Quitter, the Fair Weather Friend is willing to stand in line as long as the weather is nice. As soon as it becomes windy or it starts to rain, he leaves.
The Isolationist is determined to wait in line & follow the required process to get into the store but refuses to look at, talk to, or otherwise engage anyone around them. He prefers to fly solo.
The Clique is a group of two or more people that come to the store together. They talk & laugh with each other and ignore everyone else around them. No one is invited to join the Clique.
The Fellow Sojourner
Finally, there is the Fellow Sojourner. He comes alone but reaches out to those standing near and provides much-needed fellowship to others on the same journey. The joy he spreads can be infectious and soon more people want join in.
While an imperfect picture, I think this looks a lot like our spiritual lives.
There are those who think that they should be able to get to heaven without having to follow Jesus (Rule Breakers).
Then there are the Complainers, who may “look” like they are following Jesus but their hearts are not really submitted.
The Quitters and the Fair-Weather Friends are people that are initially willing to follow Jesus, but don’t get very far. They quickly tire of the waiting or become distracted by obstacles and circumstances.
The Isolationists and the Cliques are similar in that they exclude other people. They are only concerned with themselves and feel like it is not their responsibility to help others along in their journey.
The Fellow Sojourners are those who willingly follow Jesus and desire to encourage others in their walk with the Lord. People are drawn to them because of their joy in the Lord.
Which of these describe you most often?
Spending time watching other people has helped me be more aware of what my behavior in the “doing everyday life” moments is communicating to other people. Am I projecting a friendly & encouraging attitude or am I standoffish? Do I respect authority & follow the rules, or do I try to do things my way because it’s more convenient?
If I spent that much time watching other people, I have to believe that other people watch me, as well. Even my quiet moments in public are on display! What do I want people to see? Someone who is grumpy & irritated, or someone who has the joy of the Lord? Every moment of my life is an opportunity to be a witness for the Lord. Are all of my actions bringing Him glory?
Definitely something for you & me to pray about, my friends!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Do all things without [a]complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.