Ten minutes earlier, I was meant to be meeting my mate for lunch. But I had only left my office at the exact time we had arranged to meet so, by any calculations, I was late.
Walking in that way people do when they are already late to meet their friend for lunch, I quickstepped across city streets and through city crowds.
I noticed my brother and sister in law walking towards me when they were about five metres away. I hadn’t expected to see them. I don’t know if they saw me, but I definitely saw them.
And I blanked them. I looked through them. I looked around them. I looked down at my feet and kept speed walking, telling myself that any extra delay in meeting my mate was not acceptable.
Hands up who thinks pretending to not see my brother or sister in law was the right thing to do? No-one. Thought so.
Hands up who does exactly the same thing, whenever you’re in a hurry or have something you really, really need to do? Thought so.
A shocking habit
Blanking my brother and sister in law wasn’t a one-off. I have a habit of blanking people, which says something about me that I’d rather not be true.
Truth is that I would rather have my life be convenient than allow unexpected things to interrupt it.
Really, what would it have cost me to stop and say “Hi” to my brother and sister in law? One minute? Two, tops. I could have explained to them that I was horribly late and they would have understood.
Instead, though, I just powered on through the inconvenience of unexpected things.
What’s my priority?
That “blanking” incident happened a few hours ago. I’ve thought about it since then and its got me quite stirred up. Been doing some soul searching and that took me to the first verse of Psalm 34: “I will praise the Lord (God) at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.”
How I wound up there is its clear call to be in a constant state of giving God what God deserves: praise.
The start of Psalm 34 doesn’t say anything about doing that when it’s convenient to me, or only when I’m not in a rush to meet my mate for lunch. To put that another way: if God was coming towards me in the street but I was running late, would I blank God? Or would I do what Psalm 34 encourages me to do?
Praising God isn’t something I should just pick and choose to do, yet my habit of blanking people suggests I prioritise my own comfort over other things.
I know the right way to go when it comes to unexpected encounters in the street. Can I also go the right way when it comes to God?