A businessman gets on an aeroplane and sits down in the first class section of the plane. The stewardess rushes over to him and tells him he must move to standard class because he doesn’t have a first class ticket. The businessman replies, “I’m a businessman, I’m smart, I have a good job, and I’m staying in first class until we reach Jamaica.”
The disgusted stewardess gets the head stewardess who asks the businessman to leave. The businessman yet again repeats “I’m a businessman, I’m smart, I have a good job and I’m staying in first class until we reach Jamaica.” The head stewardess doesn’t even know what to do at this point because they still have to get the rest of the passengers seated to take off; the businessman is causing a problem with boarding now, so the stewardess gets the copilot.
The copilot goes up to the businessman and whispers in his ear. Immediately the businessman gets up and goes to his seat in the standard class section. The head stewardess asks the copilot in amazement what he said to get him to move to the correct seat. The copilot replies, “I told him the front half of the aeroplane wasn’t going to Jamaica.”
As a family we are starting to consider where to go for our summer holiday next year. I think it’s fairly safe to say that Jamaica is not a likely destination. One of the difficulties in deciding (within a certain budget) is that there are competing interests. One person might want to spend all day basking in sunshine on the beach, another might want to spend all day in the shade. Someone might want to go to a lively resort and another to somewhere peaceful and secluded. One person might like the idea of a self catering holiday last another might fancy and all in, full board experience. And that’s before we’ve even narrowed it down to countries. It probably sounds like there’s a big argument about this. In fact there isn’t, we just haven’t been able to make up our minds yet!
Ultimately what we choose is likely to be a compromise. That might seem like bad news. The word compromise seems to me to be tainted with negativity and the inability to reach a successful conclusion. But compromise is not necessarily a bad thing. If the ultimate goal or cause towards which we are all aiming is something that we all consider to be worthwhile then our own preferences becomes secondary to that goal or cause. In those circumstances compromise enables us to achieve something far better together than we could obtain if one of us got our own way. I think we always have to consider what is most important in any decision-making and keep that as our priority, not allowing ourselves to be distracted by things that are less important or even petty.
In our case each of us would let go of some of our preferences for the sake of having a shared family holiday.
And what about in other areas of life? Is getting our own way more important than bigger goals that we share with others?
What about church? Do we want to get our own way at all costs, or are we willing to compromise for the sake of our shared goals of worshipping Jesus Christ, following him and making him known?
Be blessed, be a blessing.