The other day I pulled into a gas station, third in line, at the two pumps which accommodated my passenger-side gas tank. The two cars ahead of me were pumping gas, so I didn’t think it would be too much longer before I would be able to pull up to the tank – didn’t mind the wait.
But my attention was drawn to the first car. After the lady went inside and paid for her gas, she proceeded to begin washing her windshield. That was fine. After all, it was a service station and that is one of the services offered – water, squeegee and paper towels. She then turned her attention to the rear window, and then to the side windows. In my mind, I was praising her for being so thorough and thought she was surely finished. But no, next came the side windows and then the inside.
After a few more minutes, I was looking around. Were we on Candid Camera?
Meanwhile, the second car had finished filling up and was waiting to go forward. He was trapped between us, so I backed up to let him out and pulled into the spot to fill my car. I finished and backed out to leave, and observed the lady was still washing windows. Where was the camera?
As I pulled away, I pondered on her inconsideration for others. I had to admit that is the attitude most of us have. “ I’m number one – me first.” How often have you heard, “If you don’t take care of number one, no one else will.” But unfortunately, if it involves waiting, we then find the “me first” attitude transferring to us and either patience or impatience will be the response. And many times the reaction is worse than the “me first” action.
The “me first” mentality controls the minds of many. It has caused the breakup of families, shattered marriages, instigated murder, began wars, road rage and even causes auto accidents. There is a “me first” arrogance. It means, “I’m more important than you, and what I want to do is more important than your plans.” Humility doesn’t have a chance and patience is tried. Consideration for others goes out the window.
The disciples, even, had this problem. One asked the Lord, “Who is greatest?” And Peter asked, “What about John?” (John 21:20-22 KJV). It was an effort to make Jesus mark favorites.
Immature? Yes! Remember in grade school, how little groups would surround someone on the playground and ask, “Who do you like the best?” The Smothers Brothers made a comedy routine out of “Mama always liked you better.”
Trust, dependence and concern for others are the clothes of a mature child of God. They are beautiful both to the wearer and to the beholder. But, remember, one person’s inconsideration does not justify a “me first’” response from the other.
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