The Tree in the Road
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Philippians 2:3-4
A couple of weeks ago, Tonya and I took the kids to Hendersonville to do a little snow tubing. Unfortunately, we didn’t actually get to go snow tubing, but that really doesn’t affect the story.
On the way back home, I was the first car to encounter a tree in the road. I was quickly thankful that it didn’t wait just a minute or two later to fall; it might have landed on us!
Anyway, traffic was getting backed up pretty quickly. Immediately, two teenagers whipped around everyone, got out, and started moving debris. Everyone, including me, thought we were witnessing something heroic. Faith in the youth of this generation was restored!
Then, as soon as they had done the minimum amount of work required to help themselves pull OFF the road and around the tree, the other guy hopped in the truck, and they went on their merry way. I couldn’t help but laugh, but a few were visibly exasperated.
Now, I know a blanket statement can’t be made about the entire youth of this generation. There are some super great kids out there. But, I have noticed an awful trend in the majority over the last 20 years. People are becoming more and more about themselves with complete disregard for others. In fact, I noticed in 2 Timothy 3 that Paul states that perilous times will come in the last days. The first sign that he mentions is that “men will be lovers of themselves” (v.2)
Surely, we are there. I’m tempted to think that it has probably always been this way, but I really don’t think so. A couple of months ago, our family went to the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We heard story after story of how heroic men willingly gave up their seats on those few lifeboats so others may live. The stories were so powerful. After all, “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Today, I’m sitting here pondering: Would anyone have lived if the Titanic sank today under the exact same conditions? I think the answer is “no.” Absolutely everyone would have drowned or frozen to death because the majority would have been fighting for their own best interest.
To make a dismal story a little bit brighter, people did come together after the teenagers made their way around. About 8 of us got out of our vehicles and cleaned up ALL of the debris. Another dude tied a big rope around the tree and pulled it out of the road with his Jeep. Within about 15 minutes, everyone was back on track.
I guess I say all that to say this: Today, think of others more highly than yourself. Go out of your way to inconvenience yourself for the benefit of others. You just might get asked, “Why would you do such a thing?” Then, you have the ultimate witnessing opportunity . . .
“The Lord, Jesus Christ, went out of His way for me! The least I could do is the same for you.”