Saturday, April 28, 2012


Whether or not we are intensely aware of it we all have a sense of entitlement. Some people it is more noticeable than others. Once in awhile you meet a person how doesn’t appear to feel entitled to much or if they do, they tend not to exercise their rights very often. But it’s still there. I am generally a fairly laid-back person who doesn’t mind being stepped on once in awhile because really, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t that big a deal. However, I do still have a sense of entitlement. It doesn’t show itself very often, but it’s there.

It most often comes out when I am in a crosswalk.

Living in the middle of downtown Chicago, I find myself in crosswalks rather frequently, which is probably why I’m becoming more aware of my feeling of being entitled to something. When I am in a crosswalk I expect cars to stop for the red light or stop sign behind the crosswalk so that I don’t have to walk out into traffic to get around them. If they fail to do this I generally walk straight at their car, turn at the last second to walk around it, and then cut back very close to their vehicle in order to walk the rest of the way across in the crosswalk. If I’m in a bad mood I’ll throw in a sideways stare as I walk around them. Sometimes if I’m with a group of people we joke about things one could do to make the driver of the vehicle aware that you are unhappy with them for stopping in the crosswalk.

Last week as I was walking up to church I was somewhat irked by a car that decided to park itself in the crosswalk right in front of me. Seconds after my initial irritation I was struck by the thought that really, I had no right to be even slightly upset. First of all, it’s just plain stupid to be even a little bit irked by something so small and ridiculous that makes no difference whatsoever in eternity. Second, am I really justified in thinking that I have the right to cross the street safely or walk where I want to? Do I really have a right to anything? Isn’t it ironic that I think I have the right to walk in a vehicle-free crosswalk but then turn right around and question the right of the Creator of the universe to do whatever he well pleases? Isn’t it strange that I hold so tightly to my ‘right’ to be comfortable, to be safe, to do the things that I want God to call me to and not what I’ve actually been called to do? Isn’t it ridiculous?

My prayer would be that I learn to let go of the rights I think I have and entrust it all to the One who has the right to place me wherever he pleases, no matter what the cost may be. His ways are so far beyond mine that it is absolutely ridiculous to try to hold onto my ‘rights’ in place of his good and perfect plan.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

May we, like Paul, lay down our rights in order to follow the path that God has called us to, and be a part of his work of redemption, his plan that is going far beyond what we will ever be able to see or understand.

“Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 9:12  

May we lay it all down in order to gain Christ and take hold of that which is truly life.

[soli deo gloria]

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