“I don’t have time for this!”
“Come on people!”
“What is going on up there?!”
Do any of the above sound familiar?
To say Americans “hate to wait” is more than a bumper sticker slogan. We’ll do most anything to avoid long lines at checkout counters and sitting in traffic. Albeit, we don’t mind waiting in line to load up on some crawfish – at least in Louisiana!
What goes through your mind when you’re stuck in a line? Be careful, this is a family article!
Some cars are equipped with accident avoidance technology which, in theory, can recognize trouble ahead and stop your car – no hands or feet needed! Similarly, many people have “crowd avoidance” or “line avoidance” tendencies. When they’re grocery shopping and the checkout lines are too long, they’ll set down their groceries or abandon their cart rather than wait in line. When traffic is backed up, they’ll create their own lane on the shoulder, do a U-turn in the median, or cut in line – anything to avoid waiting.
If we’re honest, when we see a line, a crowd, we tend to think to ourselves, “I’ve got places to go, people to see, things to do. These people don’t realize how busy I am, how much pressure I’m under. My entire day, and possibly my entire life, could be ruined if you don’t get out of my way!”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have the “gift of waiting.” I’ve dreamed of a James Bond-like car that converts into a helicopter and lifts me above crowds and enables me to get out of the traffic and on with my trip. This is still on my Christmas list by the way. Every year.
But compare our attitudes about crowds and Jesus’ attitude toward crowds. When He saw the crowds, He wasn’t frustrated. He didn’t look for an out or a quick escape. He felt compassion for them. He empathized with the weariness. He didn’t see a nameless mass of humanity. In the way only Jesus could see, He knew they were wandering like sheep without a shepherd (see Matt 9:36). On another occasion, when surrounded by a large crowd, He noticed their need. They’d been with Him for three days and had nothing to eat. “If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way.” (Mark 8:1-3, HCSB).
If we’re going to reach people, we must change the way we see people. They can’t be seen as just another obstacle in the way of what we want. Jesus constantly pressed his followers to look beyond…
their socio-economic status,
their religious background,
their political views,
their past failures,
When we follow Jesus our hearts break for them, too. When we change the way we see people, we’ll change the way we pray for them and the way we treat them.
As Louisiana Baptists, we are saying to the people in our state “We’re Here for You.” We want them to know and understand they matter to God and they matter to us. This is one of the reasons we’re attempting to harness modern technology to deliver the truth of God’s word to every heart and every home almost every day.
This is a God-sized task. Our resources are limited and we are outnumbered. But as Paul reminded the early believers in Rome, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Visit HereForYou.org, watch the spots and share your favorites using your preferred social media platform. It’s a small way of letting people know there is a God who loves them and – there is no line!
Oh, and the next time you’re stuck in traffic or in a long checkout line at the store, instead of being frustrated, mad, impatient, or anxious, say a silent prayer and ask God to help you see those in front of you the way He does. Who knows, maybe waiting in line can help you work on your prayer life?!
For more videos, go to hereforyou.org