Ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road and I get to Scotland before ye . . .
That ancient song ran through my mind this morning as my son and I walked to school. There were a couple of places where the rain over the last week had created puddles on the sidewalk -- right in our path. Most were easily avoidable, a simple step to the right or left allowed your foot to find dry ground. The last puddle however took up the sidewalk, was too large to step over, and the only way around was to circle through the grass or to step up on the curb next to the highway. My son was in jeans and cross-trainers and took to the grass, I had on business attire (funeral this afternoon) complete with dress shoes and light brown dress slacks -- no puddle or wet grass for me -- I took to the curb and tried to keep balance so as not to fall into the puddle on either side (not to mention the traffic on the highway). I started singing the song as soon as we cleared the puddle, much to my son's distaste and my singing garnered a look of "Dad, you are embarrassing me, again!"
I hear people talk about "taking the high road" in situations of conflict. If taking the "high road" means considering the feelings and point of view of the other party, and trying not to injure them then that is what scripture recommends. Paul says in Philippians 2:3-7, "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." (ESV).
In today's world of misguided "looking out for self" and misunderstanding of "respect," Paul's statement seems weak. But it is not a weak man who considers others, but the strong meek man who practices self-control.
Will you like Jesus, take the High Road?