rick & 1j13
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Not a bad day - long and busy, but that's a good thing when you're normally sitting on your fanny at a desk all day. I've been thinking alot about what happened over the weekend at the retreat in GA and after coming home. Two people who could've really gotten me wadded up and offended... didn't.

On the way to Gainesville, GA, and back, my riding companions were great. One drawback: the young lady riding shotgun would look over from time to time and let me know how much over the speed limit I was going. I usually brush that off - my take is that if I'm not the fastest and not the slowest, as long as traffic's moving I'd rather be in the flow than be too slow and hazardous to others. Anyway, it was annoying on the way there; it was really bad on the way back, however, when she started talking about how when we get out from under God's hand of protection - stuff I've heard many times before - when we break the rules. And you know what? She was right. Did I slow down to the speed limit? No, but I did stay within three mph over, instead of my usual and possibly misguided 10-12 mph over. The other two cars left us in the dust, but only ended up beating us in a four hour drive by fifteen minutes. I can live with that.

In the other instance, I've already blogged about the neighbor coming to tell me that my dog had harassed his wife again. I don't want to be the bad neighbor who goes to his house this summer and says, "Hi, my dog almost killed your wife when she was jogging or riding her bike - want to join us for a weekly bible study?" My rights end where they feel unsafe, and my dog - well, she's pretty stupid, so I don't mind keeping her in the confines of the backyard if she'll stay safe (not good for her to bolt in front of our house - that's how our last dog was killed) and still be able to harass birds and squirrels. In case she understands all of this (highly unlikely), I've made a deal that after I get back from Puerto Rico, I'll start walking her in the neighborhood more, letting her hit her old haunts and sniff her old friends' butts. How's that?

Why does this mean so much right now? I think I would've felt offended earlier in life, but now I want to do the right thing. And I hope I'm open to correction without being put off by truth, no matter the source. We've got to live together in this world, and it does no good to go around hacking everyone off all the time. I don't want to be a "man-pleaser" but a God-pleaser; and yet, at the same time, I think God is pleases when we sacrifice self in order to move forward in relationship. Compromising your faith or your revelation or your relationship with God in order to pursue sin is never ever good. But giving a little in personal areas in order to allow restoration and blessing... that's got to be a good thing.
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