Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Psalm for the Elementary School Drop-Off Line


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be late.

He leads me beside the curb to release the little children unto Him.

He makes me sit patiently near green lawns,

He leads me beside quiet sidewalks,

He refreshes my yeti.

He guides me along the RIGHT paths for RIGHTeousness’ sake.

Yea, though I wonder why that car intendeth to cut in line -

and break all the rules - and make the traffic move even more slowly -

and be all selfish and oblivious all in one sharp turn of that Realtree steering wheel!

My shades mask the evil. My nod and my rolling pace shall prevent them!

Surely goodness and mercy … are in the car in front of me [gasp!] Because they LET.THEM.IN!!

 

OK. First two weeks of public school drop off were a bust. I mean, we were never late, and I did everything exact and correctly. But my attitude and thoughts and words … in front of my kids …

As parents we received strict and articulated instructions to line up and only enter circle drive from ONE direction. Thank you, kind friends.

Each morning, as I am so patiently and dutifully complying, I am faced with a mini-procession of insubordinate ignorants who demand to arrive mid process, then make their unjust and abbreviated way to the front. But [verily I say] I will not be trespassed against!!! Easing forward, allowing my front license plate to gently greet the next car’s back tag with a purposeful kiss.

“Don’t even think about it, mister. How rude!”

“Oh, No ma’am. Not today. So selfish!”

“Yes, the line starts way back there, Smart One.”

“So you think – with all these cars lined up on THIS side of the street – you are going to be the revolutionary one with a fantastic and time-saving strategy. Shimmy Shimmy, my friend.”

“Oh no you don’t! You are a rule breaker!! Jesus doesn’t like RULE BREAKERS!!”

 

And that’s where my precision and correctness hit a heart-changing low.

Jesus actually LOVES rule breakers. I know this because He said Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as [I] forgave you. (Eph 4:32)

As I obsess about your inability to behave, I lose sight of what I have become: a law breaker.

In car line, I am also “rude” and “selfish”.  Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not rude or self-seeking… (1 Cor 13) And though I am tempted to toss out a toddlerish “But SHE was rude FIRST!!”, I am compelled to realize I will not answer for your poor choices. I will only answer for mine. And based on the past two weeks, I have some answering to do.

And so, to the daily handful of motorists who are either sincerely selfish, or simply uninformed (and therefore literally know not what you do), I forgive you. And I apologize. I called you names in my head, and sometimes in my car. I was wrong. I need forgiveness too.

(I mean, we would all just love it if you turned from your wicked ways, and stopped acting like you are the only individual who has somewhere pressing to be shortly after drop off. Or please, for the love of all things mild-mannered in the morning, please read the handbook, or get better instructions from your daughter-in-law who sent you with the preshies today…)

And I bet Jesus would just love it if I turned from my wicked thoughts and stopped acting like I was the only individual who was worthy of patience and grace. Or please, for the love of all things mild-mannered in the morning, if I could more quickly refer to the Holy handbook, or heed the wise counsel of my daughters who sit and listen today .

Here’s the good news for all of us. If we humble ourselves, He is faithful to forgive. He answers for us. He is the answer. And HEY! I don’t need you to change your ways for me to find joy. I just need to change mine. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

The school has given us guidelines. And it will be my distinct and honorable pleasure to adhere to them. [I salute you, fellow first-born overachievers!]

I also know that our Creator has given us guidelines. But they are not NEARLY as easy to follow.

Simple? Yes. Easy? Evidently not.

Christ, the ultimate Firstborn has achieved for us: salvation, grace, and everything we need for life and Godliness. And He will procide true pleasure and joy, each time we choose the right way. Even when – ESPECIALLY when we are trespassed against. For if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:15)

Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. Everything hangs on these two commands. (Matthew 22:36-40)

Even elementary school car lines.