This morning I was in a rush. This morning it was cold and icy and really foggy and the traffic was bad. This morning I had to get one small person, dressed as a knight, across town to school on time for her knight training (jousting, sword fighting, medieval cooking etc). This morning I had to take another person to a slightly inconveniently early doctor’s appointment for a throat examination. This morning I had to stop off between the two appointments to pick up some bread and some more paracetamol for the throat person. Also this morning there was a man who pushed in – blatantly pushed in front of me in the queue. It wasn’t a long queue but he just came and stood in front of me and greeted the girl who I was standing behind, like that gave him the right. We British people like queues. There is an order and petty justice to them. There are rules – and he broke those rules. Usually British people know that one does not push in, in a queue, and if you break this rule you must, at very least, apologise profusely. He didn’t. And so now I am even later. Let’s be honest it wasn’t a big thing but this morning it felt like a big thing to me. He only did what we all do – put ourselves first. I thought about making a fuss and pushing back in with a loud “Excuse me!” but I didn’t. I let it go (which is probably also a British thing) but inside I felt a little bit hurt and ever so slightly put out. I shouldn’t really be surprised because this is what human nature is like – we are mostly focussed on ourselves – on our timetable, on our turn, on our rights, on our self….. Hang on I thought I was talking about him?!
Abram and Lot had been travelling together and prospering together with their families and flocks and herds and such. But they were now so numerous that it was causing tension. Their herdsmen were bickering about who pushed in front of who in the queue for the watering hole and other equally futile stuff. So Abram decides that for the good of the family it would be wise to spread out a bit, to give each other some space. Abram tells Lot that he can choose which direction he wants to go with his family and flocks and herds, and that Abram will go the other direction.
“Lot looked around and saw the whole plain of the Jordan towards Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out towards the east.” Gen 13:10-11
Well you would wouldn’t you? Here you go Lot – do you want the “well watered garden of the Lord” type prospects or the more rugged, barren and uphill route? You can’t fault the man. But I love what happens next – God speaks. It’s always good when that happens 😉
“The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him “Look around from where you are to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring for ever”…”Go, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you” Gen 13:14+16
Abram selflessly gives Lot first choice and Lot chooses what he thinks is the best. But then God speaks and turns the whole deal on its head. Abram knew that he didn’t need to push or fuss or snatch or worry – God knows what we need to do what He has called us to do and He gives it as a gift. It’s the topsy-turvy kingdom that Jesus spoke about – where the first are last and the last are first. He’s so good that we can’t miss His favour. Doesn’t that take the pressure off?
Romans 12:10 talks about loving each other by out-doing one another in showing honour. This is the way we are to compete in the Kingdom of God; preferring one another, promoting someone else, serving and laying down our own agenda in preference to each other. This is way to compete for the prize – by being like Jesus. He laid aside the majesty of God’s well watered garden and chose the uphill, rocky path to Calvary so that He could now say to us “Look around – all of this is yours!”.
Thanks for reading. Much love Rach x
P.s Interestingly Katy’s page on this chapter also has a compass on it – you can read her version here – Look and Go!