Road Sage

When it comes to the guy who just zoomed past 5 miles of cars that had correctly zipper merged to the lane that wasn’t ending or worse yet an 18 wheeler who has just taken himself to the head of the line from 5 miles back, God how I am supposed to apply:

1John 4:20 (RSV Robby Standard Version) “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates Marvin the Merger, he is a liar.” Or even….
1John 3:17 (RSV) But if someone has the right of way and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Really now, down deep, from the heart, do I have compassion for this usurper? God knows I struggle, struggle, struggle, even worse with the ones closest to me and especially here in the Christmas season when time is in short supply it seems like mission impossible to love my mother in law who now lives in my house. Do I have compassion for her?

This has been my struggle lately, and God was coming for me, trying to help me see something amazing the whole time, but only when I finally had eyes to see it. A verse I had been trying to grasp for weeks.
Song of Songs 1:8 If you yourself do not know,
    O most beautiful among women,
go out yourself in the footsteps of the flock
    and graze your kids by the shepherds’ tents.

I could write a number of blogs on this verse and what is meant when this women who represents me and my search for Christ is asking how to find Him. Yes, follow the tracks of the sheep, but my question for weeks to God has been; why does  she have goats that need grazing. That word translated “kids” means very specifically female baby goats. So I studied the difference between sheep and goats, Jesus sayings of separating the sheep and the goats, I looked at the ancient Rabbi’s teaching, Matthew Henry, You name it but nothing that really made sense to that very specific question: why was she told to graze goats among sheep?

As I have mentioned many times in the past; every day in my prayer time I ask Jesus, for a word for that day, well several times recently he gave me the answer in a couple different forms, I just didn’t have the eyes to see it. The word He gave me was, “Hospitality”. The answer; only Jesus shepherds would allow those goats to graze among the sheep. It’s the wheat and the tares, a good shepherd would not try to uproot the weeds for fear of harming the wheat.

Practically speaking Jesus has fed me when all the while my goats were grazing on all the worst kinds of forage imaginable. You see this was the only place where the Shulamite women would be safe with her goats and Jesus knows it. Hospitality and Hospital have the same root, if we weren’t sick we wouldn’t need it. 

So yes, Marvin the Merger has some goats he is grazing as does my brother or my mother-in-law, but grace, favor is not supposed to be merited or it wouldn’t be a gift.

Can I do that in my own strength? No way, it’s impossible for me to do it, unless my union with Christ is in present time, and I can offer hospitality from my heart; for apart from Jesus, I can do nothing. So prayer is necessary and separation from time. God showed me this is “Counter Clock Wise“, catchy huh.. Like the good Samaritan who considered his brothers need more important than his time, he was, “Counter Clock Wise” as is so much of what it takes to be a Hospitable Road Sage. 

Such are those shepherds in the Song of Songs,  the ones who created those ancient steep paths, they are willing to put up with me and my goats, they will take their time to guide, protect and feed. Jesus knew it when He sent me. The hirelings would have run away at the first sign of trouble for they care nothing for the sheep. John 10