Living Lessons: Patrons, Progeny, and Priorities
by: Christopher Wiles
We all make priority mistakes while getting caught up in life's pursuits. God uses wisdom in scripture and people around us to perfect our priorities.
Priority Pursuit #1: Viking Mart in Montgomery became the site of a thought provoking experience recently. As I dismounted my bicycle after a 45 minute ride a middle aged woman hustled out the door yelling to all the patrons soon to pump gas, "Wait! Wait! Don't pump! The price is going down in just a few minutes! Wait!" So passionate in her desire to help the present patrons, this gas station attendant looked like she warning people of an impending apocalypse in her efforts to save them a dollar. Moments later, she greeted everyone by name as the patrons entered into this Marathon gas station. She truly cared for people and put forth effort for the savings of others. I'm so glad this attendant took time to show the priority of care for business patrons and unknowingly helped me pursue Godly priorities.
Priority Pursuit #2: Chuck Harmon Little League at the Sports Complex became the site of another thought provoking experience recently as we halted the game for many teachable technique opportunities, but the highest priority teachable moment was rejected by the opposing coach. As I stood in front of the opposing coach making my case for a game pause to teach fielder safety to our Little League learners, the driven coach dismissingly declared this erring justification, "He (the fielder) was playing the ball. He had every right to the base path." So passionate was his desire to win the game, this 9-10 year old baseball coach showed disregard about the dangers of collisions and the rules after his infielder made a potentially frightful mistake on a ball thrown to second base. I'm so glad my progeny, Gabriel, didn't bulldoze the clueless & empty-gloved child but took time to show the priority of care for an opposing player as he danced around the errant fielder on the way to the base. Gabriel unknowingly helped me pursue Godly priorities.
One person was so passionate in her care for others that she halted the workplace hustle-bustle and extra company revenue as a sacrifice for patrons. One person was so passionate in his desire to win that he refused halting the game to teach children safety and the rules so they may enjoy longevity in the game they love.
I'm reminded of Jesus in Luke 10 as He dealt with an "expert"(v.25) wanting to "justify himself"(v.29). To teach this expert a higher way in priorities, our Savior shared the parable of the "Good Samaritan."
"But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 'Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?' He said, 'The one who showed him mercy.' And Jesus said to him, 'You go, and do likewise.'" (Luke 10:33-37)
I hope for another opportunity to thank this lady for her kindness to patrons and to compassionately teach a coach the priorities of caring for players. Whether working, coaching, or playing, may we all seek growth in our daily life as we learn to sacrifice our worldly pursuits for the priority of care and mercy for others.