Summary: Others, submission, consideration, unity
Phil 2:3-4 (p831) July 22, 2012
I love this story…I believe I first heard it during a Wayne Smith sermon but I’m not sure…what I am sure of is if Wayne was using it he’d “borrowed” it from someone else…but it’s a great story none-the-less…
A ship’s captain looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send this message: “Alter your course 10 degrees south.”
A prompt message came in return, “Alter your course 10 degrees north.” Captain angered that his command had been ignored sent a second message,
“Alter your course 10 degrees south - I am a captain!” A message came back in return,
“Alter your course 10 degrees north - I am seaman 3rd class Jones!”
The captain sent a third message knowing the fear it would evoke, “alter your course 10 degrees south – I am a battleship!”
Then the reply came, “Alter your course 10 degrees north – I am a lighthouse!”
Here’s the truth…none of us find it easy to “yield”…maybe occasionally we’ll feel magnanimous at the grocery store and let someone go before us…or at a 4 way stop…
But if you put an opposing force in the situation…someone cuts you off in traffic…or evades your space or authority…at work…watch how quickly we start demanding that they alter their course 10 degrees to the south.
It’s the only way we survive in this world, huh? If not we become doormats…our voices are never heard….we’ll slide silently into obscurity…
I remember William Ernst Henley’s poem “Invictus”
Out of the night that covers me, Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Black as the Pit from pole to pole Looms but the Horror of the shade,
I thank whatever gods may be and yet the menace of the years
For my unconquerable soul. Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
In the fell clutch of circumstance It matters not how strait the gate,
I have not winced nor cried aloud. How charged with punishments the scroll,
Under the bludgeoning of chance I am the master of my fate;
My head is bloody, but unbowed. I am the captain of my soul.
“I’m the master….. I’m the Captain…
Within every single one of our souls…men and women alike, there is prideful rebel singing Frank Sinatra’s “I did it My Way” or Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down!” or Niki Minaj singing “I Don’t Give A”
We are hard wired from birth to demand our own way…to get what we want when we want it…
So when Jesus comes along and teaches His disciples that the world’s philosophy is wrong…that His followers have a different method of leadership…Peter…and Simon the Zealot must have hated it…as well as every other one of the apostles.
Here’s some context…James & John’s mother…(Mrs. Zebedee) has asked Jesus to let her two sons have preeminent places ( 1 one at his right and 1 at his left) in the New Kingdom He’s building…I’m pretty sure, neither she nor James or John understood what kind of Kingdom this is…Jesus tells her…those places aren’t his to give…God’s prepared those places…the other 10 disciples hear about this conversation…listen.