Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Willingness to Yield

“The wisdom that is from above is…willing to yield.” —James 3:17
A number of years ago, two friends and I meandered and fished our way across Magruder Corridor, a primitive, single–track jeep road that follows an old Nez–Perce trail that cuts through the Selway–Bitterroot Wilderness in Northern Idaho.

One afternoon we were eating lunch beside the road when the only vehicle we had seen all day pulled up beside us. It was an ancient, battered, dust–covered pickup containing a couple of bearded, hard–looking, backcountry characters. One of them motioned me to approach.

In my naiveté, I hopped off the tailgate of my jeep where I was sitting and ambled over, hoping to be friendly and helpful. One of my friends shadowed me, aware that these men were looking for trouble.

“Do you know what we call flatlanders up here,” the man in the passenger seat growled. “No,” I replied. So he told me, using a word I’d rather not repeat. Before I could utter another word, my friend, who is a former SWAT commander and one of the toughest men I know, elbowed me aside, leaned on the door and peered into the cab. “Do you know what we call folks who live up here?” he asked quietly.

“No,” the driver snarled and reached for the door handle.

“We call them…Sir,” my friend replied.

Both men laughed, waved and drove on.

Israel’s wise man was right: “A soft answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). This is meekness, not weakness. Meekness has prodigious strength!


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