Pushing to the front
I certainly hope you didn’t play roulette with any of your Ben Franklin’s hoping to get rich quick buying shares in Facebook. Getting in on the ground floor, so to speak, of this stock introduction turned out to be about level three of the basement.
There are some very unhappy investors out there demanding some sort of explanation as to what happened and who’s responsible for the big miscalculation of the company’s worth. It seems only the down escalators are in working order at the moment, but don’t panic because the company has promised that the up escalators will be functional sometime in the near future.
Have you ever tried to make any progress up while navigating a down escalator? Trust me, you’ll run short of breath long before you reach the top. Well, if you did invest and are hanging on waiting for a return, good luck with that.
It was the day of the big sale. A long line had formed at the door long before opening time. A man pushed his way to the front of the line, only to be pushed back amid disgruntled faces and shouts of disapproval. On the man’s second attempt, he was knocked around and then thrown to the end of the line again. As he got ready for a third try he said to the person at the end of the line, “That does it! If they hit me or push me around one more time, y’all can stand here all day. I just won’t open the store!”
Catherine Drinker Bowen, in her book John Adams, writes what happened in the Second Continental Congress, which met in June 1776.
It was time to select a Commander in Chief of the American Army. John Adams rose to speak. John Hancock wore a look of pleased, even radiant, expectancy. Facing the room in his chair behind the President’s table, he was plainly visible to everyone, including John [Adams], who stood near the front.
No one loved glory more than Hancock; he had the vanity of a child, open and vulnerable. Adams suggested, “... a gentleman whose skill as an officer, whose independent fortune, great talents and universal character would command the respect of America and unite the full exertions of the Colonies better than any other person alive ...” Adams saw Hancock’s face and hastened on, raising his voice ... “A gentleman from Virginia, who is among us here and well known to all of us ...” Hancock shrank as at a blow.
(“I never,” Adams wrote later, “remarked a more sudden and striking change of countenance. Mortification and resentment were expressed as forcibly as his face could exhibit them.”)
Washington, who was on the south side of the room, left his seat at the word “Virginia” and slipped quietly out the door before his name was pronounced. John [Adams] finished and sat down. Hancock’s face grew hard and dark with anger. He made no attempt to hide his feelings. It was a case of open shame versus the public honor of Washington.
[Luke 14:7-11] Some people can accept a “pecking order” well and others are constantly pushing and shoving their way to the head of the line. Everything in life doesn’t have to end up a competitive sport. Being first isn’t always the best place. Jesus reminds guests at a meal not to take the highest places and run the risk of being humiliated by being asked to move down the table, but to take a low place and then enjoy the “glory” of being asked to take a higher place.
It is well to remember that Jesus warned his disciples about seeking positions within the kingdom of God, and he criticized the Pharisees for their religious pride. If we have ears ... let us hear!
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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