Thursday, December 17, 2009


How do you feel about lines? The ones you stand in .... ? Sometimes during the Christmas season I think I have "lineophobia." Don't get me wrong; I was a teacher, so I can line 'em up with the best of 'em. "Heel to toe, no talking, straight as a pencil, boy girl, against the wall, eyes forward ..." Sounds like the army! I grew up in a family that always missed the end of Ice Capades ... to avoid the lines. ;) I still wait 'til 2 pm to avoid a lunch line, go to "nowhere'sville" to shop & avoid lines, and send gifts late because there was a line at the post office. How embarassing. There's so much that's GOOD about a line, but during this season .... sigh.

I get in line at the light to turn into the shopping center. I wait in line for parking. I stand in line to ask if something's available. Then I stand in line to buy it. I stand in line to exchange it. ;) And heaven forbid I should get hungry and have to stand in line. Or worse, try to use the restroom ... Have you been there ... in "the line?"

When high school classes dismissed early after exams, I went to pick up Jo & a friend ... and sat in a long, long line. Sometimes people are overcome by lines and try to race ahead, cut in front of the "shmucks" (that would be those of us waiting in line), gun their motors, honk their horns, or make faces at people who "got out." And then from the back seat, I see them ....

The eyes of the children watching me, listening (who decided to have kids anyways? ;) ). They are taking in how I respond to "the LINE." I am reminded that the Bible even talks about lines, knowing that like the disciples, people have the instinct to want to be first. It doesn't matter if we're ordering a coffee, grabbing a Power Hour special, or taking a seat in heaven; we like to be first. But God says,

Matthew 20:16 (NASB)

"So the last shall be first, and the first last."

I may be in line as you are reading this! "Line" can feel like a black hole, but God wants us to know the discipline of being patient and humble in the lines of life is what He's looking for in those He honors. He's watching and listening, along with those kids in the back seat and the woman in line in front of us (with 15 fleece blankets & no price tags) and the man at the customer service desk and the teenager at the coffee counter. Let's shine the love of Jesus during our errands and challenges of the busy pre-Christmas days. After all ....

Philippians 2:5-9 (NIV)

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name ...

Funny thing about lines ... we aren't ever alone in one, so I'll look for you, but YOU can go first.

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Sanders said...