• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

I’m not giving way

Driving to the World Team Global workplace, I have to cross a bridge that takes one over the Oise River.  It’s quite a lovely view in both directions.  Normally, it takes about three minutes to cross. Tuesday of this week, it took forty nine minutes!  Since we are in the summer months here, towns and ‘state’ governments take the opportunity to do a lot of roadwork.  Such was the case on the bridge this past Tuesday, moving a four lane road down to just two lanes.

What caught my attention wasn’t the roadwork, but the attitude of various drivers. Many had their own ‘method’ for dealing with the traffic tie-up and trying to get one more car ahead, by whatever means. One driver in particular caught my attention.

give wayThis driver was in the passing lane, next to a huge ‘earth mover’ type truck.  The truck was obviously ahead, but neither driver was going to ‘give way’.  With every meter, both drivers tried to ‘assert their authority’.  At one point, I thought the truck was literally going to scrape the side of the smaller car, and take the side view mirror in its path. I kept thinking to myself: “Just give way!  What’s the big deal?  So you’re behind the truck or behind the car, you’re eventually going to get over the bridge either three seconds sooner or later.”

Then it hit me that in my relationships with others at work, at home or in the neighborhood, I can be just the same.  Worse even.  I can be as stubborn as that car driver or truck driver, not wanting to ‘give way’ because my rightness is being challenged.  However, I don’t think it’s just me. In a given situation, all of us are capable of going ‘head to head’ with that ‘earth mover’ truck and pushing to get to the front of the line.

There’s why collaboration (one of the elements of our WT Ministry Framework organisational culture) is so hard.  It means we have to ‘give way’ sometimes.  It means we have to follow the consensus of the larger team at times.  All the while keeping in mind that we are going to get to the same end point.

There’s why delegation is difficult.  It means saying to another: “Go ahead, you work on this. I’ll support you, but you take the lead.”  It’s platforming or pushing another in front of you when we would prefer to be first or up front.

Next time, you are side by side with an ‘earth mover’ truck, merging into one lane, will you ‘give way’ or will you ‘hold your ground’?

4 Responses

  1. Laughing, David. I see this constantly on the roads. Thanks for the reminder about this in my life.

  2. Thank you David for the great image. A spiritual lesson for me lately is that too often I want to to be like the little car pushing forward with my spiritual agenda in someone else’s life instead of letting the Holy Spirit guide them. Giving way to others, giving way to the Holy Spirit working in others, but also giving way to the Spirit working in me.

    • I love the example you shared about letting God work in the lives of others, not pushing our spiritual agendas on others. Giving way is a ‘way’ of modeling/teaching others as well that we are mentoring or discipling.

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