A cool concept I realized lately occurred in such a sudden moment, that had I not been actively paying attention to, would’ve missed completely. In fact, had I not taken the chance I would’ve never learned from it either.
Here’s what happened…
As I leave the office to go on my lunch break, there are two routes I can take to get to the exit—turn right and bypass one cloud of cubicle negativity; walking thru the call center (where nobody acknowledges me)—or head straight down the hallway and fake a smile (in an area where people will quite often and blatantly ignore me).
Seeing that ahead in the distance on the first route, two people I’ve already been ignored by in the past, my natural inclination was to swing an immediate right and bee line it thru the call center.
Yet a strong desire to wait and endure prompted me to just keep on this path, where unbeknownst to me at the time, was a third person, hidden behind those two. She was a woman who I rarely see in the workplace, but one that always greets me with a fantastic smile and addresses me by my name.
And soon enough, as our paths crossed, I was quite happy that I didn’t avoid this first route. You see, it was just that small display of kindness that gave me some encouragement that not everyone was rotten at work.
At least on this day. Ha.
On the surface it seems rather silly and overly simplistic as I relay to you this scenario, yet ask yourself—how many times do we seem to miss a great opportunity God wants to show us, simply because we’re just too stubborn to listen to Him when He takes us thru a “rougher road” so to speak? Did Christ take the path of least resistance when He was in the midst of His earthly ministry?
In John 4, Jesus meets with and has a tremendous impact on “the woman at the well.” But before He encountered this woman, Jesus had to pass thru the region of Samaria to get to Galilee. The Jews would often avoid this route because them and the Samaritans—a race of people that the Jews utterly despised as having no claim on their God, were avoided at all costs. Yet, Jesus chose not to avoid it or take an alternate route.
According to Bible.org’s commentary: “Such a detour through Samaria was not geographically necessary. Although the main route from Judea to Galilee was through Samaria, Jesus, as many Jews did, could easily have gone up the Jordan valley into Galilee through the Bethshan gap, avoiding Samaria.”
Seeing this smiling individual at my workplace reminded me of how God often places us in the context of a crappy situation, which often requires us to face it and forge ahead, even though we’d rather swing a right or left and travel down an alternate route.
Before you choose to take an alternate route, think of Jesus in John 4 first. Be reminded of what’s waiting for us just beyond that undesirable path—something worth enduring that He’s already got lined up for us, if we’d just been willing to trust Him in the midst of the storm.
So I hope this little moment I’ve shared helps encourage you thru whatever less than desirable situation you find yourself in. I’m right there with you in your struggles, friend. But you know what’s really cool? God’s right there with us, providing the tools we need to trust Him and overcome any situation. Even if it doesn’t look very bright in the immediate distance, there’s a bright spot waiting for you beyond it.