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Think about ‘doing unto others’ daily

Connecting Faith to Life - By Kari van Wakeren

The other day, a semi pulled away from his stop sign to turn onto the road I was on. His turn caused him to come into my lane, which meant that I had to move onto the shoulder to get out of the way.

Had the driver given me a little wave or acknowledged what he had done in some way, I think I would have responded differently. Instead, all I could think was, “That is so rude.” 

Even though I have no idea what the driver was thinking when he decided to make his turn and take over the road, I wish he had thought a bit more about the rest of us on the road before he did.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only time that I’ve found myself wishing that someone on the road would think about others a bit more. And to be honest, it’s not just on the road. 

It’s the people wandering aimlessly down the aisles of a store, oblivious to the fact that they are blocking the way of everyone else.

It’s the customer impatiently repeating her request to the sales clerk even though the sales clerk is in the process of getting the customer what she wants. 

It’s me holding up the line as I look for the coupon that I know I have somewhere but can’t find.

Truth be told, there are times every day when each one of us fails to put others first, and there are a variety of reasons for this reality. 

But here’s the thing: When we act in this way, it does not line up with the way God intends for us to live. As it’s written in the book of Micah, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (5:8)

And in the gospels, it is Jesus himself who tells us, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

When I read words like this, and then think about the many acts of rudeness I commit and experience each day, it makes me ponder the difference it would make if we lived them out more often in our day-to-day interactions and choices.

What if we all showed a little more kindness? What if we all slowed down just enough to think about how our actions might affect someone else?  I can’t say for sure, but if we all did this, I think we’d all benefit. I think we’d all feel like this is the way things are meant to be. And I think we’d all feel good about being a part of something so simple, and yet so worthwhile.

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Kari van Wakeren is a pastor at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria. She can be reached at kari.vanwakeren@firstlutheranalexandria.com and blogs at hiccupsandsomersaults.blogspot.com.

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