We still have a land line. Our kids’ friends are fascinated by the phone hanging on the kitchen wall. It rarely rings, but when it does, we know that it’s going to be one of two people or a telemarketer. In the weeks before the election, we averaged half a dozen calls per day on the land line, with that number increasing in the days and hours before the final votes were cast. We would pick up the phone only long enough to stop it from ringing, and then we would replace it on the cradle. Long before the election, we had resolved to let the candidates’ actions speak for themselves; no amount of ruthless lobbying on either candidate’s behalf by a third party was going to sway our vote.
There is something about human beings that compels us to sway others to our way of thinking. When others don’t agree with us, we become defensive, even angry. I once read about an argument between a father and a son. When the son protested that the father wasn’t listening to him, the father lovingly retorted, “Oh, I hear you. I just don’t agree with you.”
In my mind, this is the beginning of the issue, the very tip of the proverbial iceberg. When we are passionate about something, our first instinct is often to sway others to our way of thinking. When they don’t agree with us, we become defiant. Before we know it, the desire to make others agree with us takes over. It consumes us. Soon, our passion is redirected, and it is precisely this redirected, misdirected, passion that gives the enemy a foothold. If we can be consumed with the act of pursuit and forget the intent behind it, no matter how pure, then his purpose of derailing us has been achieved.
I wrote this in my journal recently:
Let the Light open the eyes of the blind, not our own limited vision. We are called to love Him; He does the rest.
Does this mean that I believe that we are not to be fishers of men? Absolutely not. But I believe that it is our willingness He wants first and foremost, not our own self-made bait.