When our second daughter was born, my wife and I were given a fancy double stroller as a gift. It has practically every feature you can imagine. I’m not kidding, this thing can do just about everything besides pull you a shot of espresso. One feature that is pretty great is the shock absorbers. The designers made it to where if you are cruising along and one of the two babies on board have a hankering for some off-road strolling, with a flick of your wrist you can engage the shocks and boom! it transitions from race car to 4×4. The travel in the shocks eats up any unevenness in the ground allowing for a smooth ride, even on a bumpy road.
I think about this every so often when I am going into a meeting, situation or interaction that I know will bother me. I’d love to tell you that I never get ticked off or irritated. But I would be lying through my teeth. When I walk away from situations where I have responded poorly to something that has been in my path, I try to analyze what it was that got my goat and remember it. The next time I spot similar terrain coming I intentionally try to prepare myself, asking God for grace and humility that will function as an inner shock absorber so that I can properly respond to the bumps that I am about to go over.
I see this in action in Colossians 3:12. Paul says, Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; (emphasis added) Those characteristics will help smooth out potholes and dips in life but notice, he says we have to put those things on. They don’t just become a part of our daily lives by themselves, they have to be prayerfully engaged. What situation today is going to require you to be a Jeep and not a Ferrari? Engage your inner shock absorbers!