Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Go Ahead Blame Someone – It Feels Good

When I crashed my car into the back of the vehicle ahead of me – the reaction was fast… “What the dickens….WHY did you stop there…?!”

I got out of my car and looked at the damage. He did the same and we looked at each other. His response was an answer to my unspoken question to him while I was in my vehicle, “I had to stop – the other car was coming too fast!”

The accident happened quite a while ago…it is history now. But the “blame” isn’t. It is fresh in my mind. The idiot was at fault and he knew he was. It couldn’t have been me! It was him!

Needless to explain it here… I WAS AT FAULT… because I should have been in control of my vehicle at all times. I wasn’t… in a split second… as I looked one more time to see if it was okay to proceed – while still moving ahead – he stopped suddenly… and BAM!

Noel Douglas Adams stated, "When you blame others, you give up your power to change."

I learned from that simple incident. As I passed that intersection again the other day I stopped totally, looked left and then when it was clear… drove on. I found that if there is someone else at the intersection ahead of me now – I stop and will not go or even look to go before that person is gone completely.

My lesson had been a good one.

Yet as I reflected back on that horrible moment again while driving by the same intersection – my first response was to blame the other guy…

Life is like that in so many ways. Obstacles come and we are uncomfortable… get hurt… lose something big time… and someone must be at fault for our discomfort. Who is or what is the first thing that you blame?

In the hospital room the rage that the young lady had when her husband died was real. Then she put a voice to it and out came some horrible curses at God. It was God’s fault that her husband had died! She promised that she would hate God for the rest of her life. Everyone in the room was silent when she vented. No one was willing to say a word. Many cried… and I suppose many agreed.

The fact that there was something wrong inside this man’s body that no one could fix… was never considered. It was God’s fault.

Douglas was right. When I blame others – I do give up the power to change. And when I give that up… there is pretty much nothing left to do or say. Most people will be silent around me because they see the dilemma but cannot respond. I get their attention but not their support.

So what is the answer? In my accident – it was to not drive through that intersection again in that fashion with out checking very closely in every direction – in fact in every intersection I check from now on!

It is to live a brand new way.

The counselor that I spoke with yesterday was good. We talked about feelings that come with a job loss. “There is grief”, she said, “after so many years of being in a job and helping people. And if you are not careful you may blame someone for your loss…”

I immediately thought of lady in the hospital room with her husband’s body. Yes it is true. My loss is caused by someone or something else – I am sure of it!

I am reading the story again of Moses. The great leader was used of God to take an entire Nation of People out of another Nation – then lead them to a Promise Land. What leadership!

At the very beginning of the account when he walked out of the palace that he was living in all those growing years, he saw an Egyptian beating on a Hebrew – one of Moses’ people. He killed the Egyptian. In his next journey to check out the situation on the outside he saw two Hebrews fighting… and tried to intervene. At that point he looked like a hero. But in reality he was a murderer and was found out.

I found that part of the story very interesting as I thought about it. He runs to another place as the Pharaoh was angry with what he had done and was after him.

If the one Hebrew that was beating on the other one… had not accused him or revealed the murder from the day before… IT WAS THE HEBREW’S FAULT – the one with the BIG MOUTH…! Not Moses!

Well… that is a 2008 reaction. But it is not what Moses did…he fled from the palace and became a shepherd. He knew he had done wrong.

Never again do you read of Moses killing someone.

Shepherds make better leaders of people than murderers do. God had a plan.

Both of us will face opposition this week, coming into problems and impossibilities. Whose faulty will it be? What will we learn from it?

I have to be so careful…oh boy! And then I remember that I asked God to guide me… teach me and lead me… double the OH BOY!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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