Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Crossing to Safety
I was driving down a busy road the other day. Four cars were stopped in front of a traffic light that was green. Two people were next to their cars waving their arms. My first instinct was that someone was in an accident. In an effort to help those around me see the situation, I stuck my hand out the window and slowed down. I looked over to see why we were slowing down and saw a mother duck crossing the busiest intersection during rush hour with her 9 ducklings.
I looked at the faces around me. Instead of seeing the normal 'why are we slowing down’ face or the ‘why do people always have to look at the accidents and cause me to run 3 more minutes late,' face, I saw faces soften and hold a soft reverence for this mother duck and her ducklings. And you know what...no one seemed to mind that we waited for 3 minutes for the duck family to reach safety.
I have been studying current events and how they link to events in the past. It is hard for me to observe how much destruction, sadness and war there is and has been in our history. I couldn't help but become saddened by this research. I remember one particular evening, really struggling with a lecture dealing with the word iniquity. As we researched different texts to define what makes an iniquitous people, I had to leave the room. Call it my sensitive nature, but I couldn't stand to know all the horrible things that have gone on, are going on or that will go on in the world. I know they happen; is it so bad to not want to know details of these heinous circumstances and situations?
After walking out of the lecture, I couldn't help but feel down about the world in which I reside. For so long I believed that people are innately good and honest by nature. After reading, I found myself doubting this belief. I struggled with this concept for a long time and concentrated on trying to find the greater good in people and in life. Sometimes, my struggle was in vain. People still honked their horns at me if they thought I wasn’t driving well. People still treated customer service like it's a yelling match because they grew up with the notion that 'the customer is always right.' People still hit their children. I could go on, but don't want to.
I found it very difficult to find good things in every day circumstances until the day the mother duck and her ducklings made it across the street safely. You see, good surrounds us, but we can't see it. All of us become jaded in one way or another. Although I thought I was leading a life full of good influences and involving myself more in Christ-like activities, I couldn't help but lose myself in trying so hard to become happy. I just had to let it happen. What I realized is that I need to continue to do things that build and buoy my spirit or else I will sink and the search will be lost in the depth.
Thank you to any of you who help someone across the street; who pick up fallen books of a classmate; who open doors for elderly people and ladies; who say hello and smile to strangers; who stop traffic to let the mother duck and ducklings cross the road to safety.
I happen to know that no matter what surrounds us people are innately kind in nature. BUT this kindness is soft-spoken and doesn't boast. This kindness does not stand out the way unkindness does. This kindness is hidden until one day we look up at the stopped traffic and realize that even the most random act is full of goodness and life.