2015-11-04 - Obstinate
As defined by dictionary.com, the adjective obstinate is: firmly or stubbornly adhering to one's purpose. It’s origin, as explained from the same source, indicates: Latin obstinãtus (past participle of obstinãre to set one's mind on, be determined). As human beings, we can become quite obstinate, even when we don’t necessarily feel as though it might affect others in any way, whatsoever. Case in point: I was driving home from a day trip to see some close family friends, yesterday, and found myself stuck in a line of traffic that was - oddly enough - in the lane meant for passing the slower traffic. As I went back and forth between lanes, slowing down and speeding up for probably five or six miles, I noticed at the outset that this traffic had to do with one particular pick-up truck. The truck was staying in the passing lane, in an obstinate manner. At any given time in these twenty or so minutes, there were a few to almost a dozen cars or tractor trailers behind this truck. Most would get behind him, believing they might actually be able to pass someone and move forward, only to give up and get back in the other lane, moving at almost exactly the same speed.
The result was about twenty to thirty cars and trucks traveling at the speed this particular truck was traveling, whether they wanted to or not. Oddly enough, someone that finally got past him was a truck with a horse trailer, which was actually carrying a mattress, box springs and some other items, clearly due to moving. They pulled out behind him, and patiently waited for a space to clear in the slow lane, and then got around him by passing in a manner which is actually wrong, according to the rules of the road. However, the obstinate driver really left no choice. Finally, due to the persistence of the truck with the horse trailer, about seven to eight miles later, the truck with the obstinate driver was back in the slow lane and probably got off of the interstate. The flow of traffic got back to more of a normal pace, so with varying speeds present, others were then able to go around someone and then get back over into the slow lane at a consistent rate of speed. Road traffic is such an illustration of our actions affecting others. It’s odd how we get into our routines (and nothing wrong with a disciplined routine) and forget that what we are doing doesn’t just affect us. How many times I have thought or heard someone else say “well, I’m not hurting anyone else”. But sometimes by being too focused on one thing, like staying in a lane meant for moving traffic rather than stagnant traffic, we can impede the progress of others, as well. In the long run, we can affect another person’s purpose for that day, how they can be used in a situation, or how we can be used that day, by being so inordinately obstinate that we take ourselves out of focus on what’s more important. Looking inward should lead to looking outward, so we are a light in a darkened world, and not a hindrance in any way.
“… Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God ….” (Hebrews 12:12 NIV)
All scripture references from KJV (King James Version) unless otherwise noted