Tweet to self: go ahead, make my day!
This is awful, perhaps a sad commentary on my own warped mind, but Christmas shopping often resembles the tribulation period. Several weeks ago I bought Harriet a techie gadget that I had to return within an hour. It was an enhancement to the iPad i gave her for her birthday. But, it wouldn't work on the model iPad we had purchased. So, I returned it to customer service. Which means standing in line for forty-five minutes, wrestling with receipts, care program refunds, contract cancellations, and a credit to my debit card account. When the one and only customer service rep finally invited me to the register she said, "Now, detective Callahan, how can I help you?" Evidently my fidgeting impatience and body language had communicated something negative to her. It's when I remembered that "Go ahead, make my day" isn't really a good intro to other people. Who knew I was wearing that look when it was my turn? It was the right stuff of a second tweet to self as 2017 dawned.
It's the world of toxic people, living on the edge, maniacs on the pounce (look up pounce in the Urban Dictionary), poisonous relationships, attractional models, and being loaded for bear 24/7. We humans have carved out our own space, celebrated our freedom of expression to the point of obnoxiousness, and wear the dare look with our skinny jeans and plaid shirts. We're the kids of road rage, highway warfare, flash points, aggressive behaviors, and every emotional twist imagined by our species. And, that's not the worst of it. No, what is worse is that I'm part of the problem. When that sweet young lady in the customer service department referred to me as Lt. Callahan, I instantly knew something was wrong with my public persona. Well, no. The witness of the New Testament is that all of those sighs, fingers tapping, glances at my watch, waving papers, and the other dramatics are actually evidences of something deeper. That's the deal with the second 2017 tweet to self: Sonny, "Go ahead, make my day" isn't a good greeting.
Five things things register very clearly here.
1. I'm supposed to be transformed, not conformed.
This isn't such a mystery. The Apostle Paul explained this Christian life in
several notable Bible verses, what should be normative for me as a believer---
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your
mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and
acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2, ESV
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being
transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this
comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18, ESV
There should be a transformation process, what we call sanctification,
happening in me day by day, that is, being transformed to be like Christ. If I'm
being mistaken for Harry Callahan, something in wrong. Perhaps the world is
shaping me instead.
2. The attitude of Christ should define me.
Once again, the writing of the Apostle gives this thought some direction---
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:5, ESV
The Apostle defined this mind further as one of an obedient servant. The face
of 'Go ahead, make my day' may not fit the biblical picture of the Jesus Paul
was talking about.
3. There's clear teaching about our behavior with believer and un-believers.
Paul wrote at least seventeen verses about how we should interact with those
in the body of faith. 'Go ahead, make my day' doesn't really fit any of them. At
the same time, there's a biblical expectation that our actions and words to
un-believers be suitable to our witness to them. Two verses work here---
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your
speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you
ought to answer each person.
Colossians 4:5-6, ESV
4. Spiritual fruit should be obvious in my life, publicly and privately.
Being rude, impatient and short-tempered certainly isn't on the list of spiritual
fruit the Apostle was inspired to include in his letter to the Galatians.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23, ESV
No, that 'Go ahead, make my day' demeanor would better fit the preceding
verse, Galatians 5:19-21, what is labeled "The Works of the Flesh".
5. There's the fruit and tree comparison Jesus made.
Like most people I can alibi the Harry Callahan look that day in the store. But,
the minute that young lady spoke to me, even as she smiled, I remembered
what Jesus had said to his followers---
For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for
each tree is known by its own fruit.
Luke 6:43-44, ESV
Yes, we all have bad days with much to do, little time, and forty-seven other
excuses. But, that usually what they are when Harry Callahan shows up in us.
So, that day i knew it would tweet to self #2, 'Go ahead, make my day' isn't a good verbal or non-verbal greeting for anyone on any day.