The Laugh

Saturday, August 9, 2014
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Where'er Thy People Meet"1 (Lyrics)

Philippians 2:4 – Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (NIV)

The rain continued its onslaught, so I decided to make use of this inside day by setting up our tent in the back room. We bought this tent many years ago and had lent it out to others but had never used it ourselves. Unfortunately, the instructions had also been lost. And seeing as a friend and I were going camping very soon, I thought that it would be a good idea if I could figure out how to assemble the thing before we actually arrived at the campsite.

Thankfully, before attempting the task, I was able to find the instructions for my tent model online, and better yet, discovered that the set-up was incredibly easy. Taking it down, however, was a little more difficult, as I was in a confined space, and the long bendable poles were difficult to withdraw from the sleeves that I had threaded them through. At this point, I engaged the help of my daughter. She began to work on one end of the pole while I worked on the other, each of us freeing it from the sleeve on opposite sides of the tent by pushing the freed material toward the middle as we pulled the pole loose. Imagine our surprise, however, when we met in the middle and realized that each of us had been pulling towards ourselves instead of both going in the same direction. What a laugh! It also meant that one of us had to reverse what we were doing and work backwards, pulling the pole back through the sleeve we had just freed it from.

This little exercise in dismantling the tent made me realize anew how natural it is for us to think of ourselves and what we are doing, ahead of considering what others may be thinking or doing. At heart, we are naturally selfish creatures, looking out for Number One. And yet, Jesus has commanded us, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31 NIV), which means that we should be seeking to remember to consider others ahead of ourselves in both large and small matters at all times.

Yes, it was a rainy, inside day, and I had decided to make use of it by learning how to set up our tent before going camping with a friend. And, yes, I did learn how to do it, which was a good thing. The better thing which was accomplished, however, was the reminder from the Holy Spirit to look not only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others, which is no laughing matter.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You thought of us ahead of Yourself when You chose to send Jesus to earth as the Saviour of mankind. Grant us humility and willingness that we might also choose to think of others ahead of ourselves in both the large and the small exchanges of this life. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great, as always. Thanks Lynne.

    Good analogy Lynne. Been there done that.

    Another great practical lesson Lynne. Keep up the good writing!

    Lynne – I really loved this devotional and had a smile when I considered the practicality of the lesson learned. Thanks for sharing this.

    Isn’t it amazing how we can see God’s hand and learn lessons from the simplest of things in our everyday lives when we’re in tune with His Holy Spirit.

    How blessed are the believers who see Christ in even the simplest/mundane tasks, and find opportunities to grow in our Love of God and His blessings upon us.
    Thanks for the written word, to help the rest of us.

    Laughing at the picture… loving the lesson.

    Good analogy to the Scripture. I enjoyed reading it. It makes you think.
    God Bless.

    Thank you.

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