Wednesday, March 22, 2017
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It was the biggest snowstorm of the year. Not the kind you dig out from very quickly. The news reported that one of America's major cities had been virtually shut down by this massive carpet of white stuff. And the evening news showed one hazard of such a storm that was really out of the ordinary; a hazard that shouldn't have happened. The man in the news had started the challenging job of shoveling the sidewalk in front of his house, which happened to be on a main street. At the same time, of course, the city snowplows were doing what they should do. They were busily moving the snow that was clogging those main streets, and that's when it happened. Somehow it was captured on video for all of us news watchers to see. The snowplow roared past the man on the sidewalk, showered him with this heavy shower of snow spraying out either side, and literally buried Mr. Shoveler in a sudden avalanche from the street and from the sky. The snowplow plowed onward, and the operator never even knew what he had done. Thankfully, the man on the sidewalk was able to dig out unharmed, but he was stunned. After all, snowplows are for unburying streets, not burying people. Right?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Human Snowplows."
So apparently the driver was so focused on what he was doing that he inadvertently snowplowed a person. Excuse me, but you don't have to drive a snowplow to make that mistake. Sadly, I've done it way too many times in my life, and it's possible you could be unintentionally snowplowing some people you know. Look, maybe you're like me. You're a make-it-happen, goal-oriented, destination-oriented person. And God can really use those characteristics, but there is a downside if people get snowplowed because all you can see is your goal.
Then there's the example of the man who had more to get done during His life than any man ever has-Jesus Christ. He was intensely goal-oriented, doing whatever it took to accomplish His life-saving mission. Listen, for example, to Luke 9:51. "As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem." Look, it's why He had come, and He is not going to be deterred.
But Jesus was no snowplow. In Luke 18, some of Israel's religious big shots are meeting with Jesus. The disciples are playing goalie, telling parents who are bringing their children to Jesus to take off, until "Jesus called the children to Him." He always had time for the children. They didn't have any votes to cast, they had no money to give Him, no keys to any doors, but He set aside everything to be with the kids.
Then, in Luke 18:39-40, our word for today from the Word of God, we hear of His visit to Jericho, where the townsfolk wanted to make a good impression on Him. So, they told the local blind beggar to stop his embarrassing yelling for Jesus' attention. But here's what it says, "Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to Him." And Jesus took time with that man that nobody had time for, and He healed him.
The man with more to do than anyone ever had to do was more sensitive to the people along the way than anyone has ever been. And He is the one you're following. If you've been snowplowing people as you move toward your goals-maybe even your family, your coworkers, people you really care about-that's just too high a price to pay for progress. When you're moving fast, people can become something less than those precious "image of God" creations to you. They can become objects, obstacles, intrusions, stepping stones, tools just to get it done-but how totally unlike your Master that is.
Long after your work is done and your mission has been accomplished, the people in your life will still be there. Don't ever let your work leave them buried by your human snowplow. They just matter too much to Jesus for that to happen.