Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

October 21, 2010

Stubborn

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Stubbornness is something I know something about!  I also know the suffering that can come from being stubborn.

I was only about eight years old when I definitely experienced the pain that can come from being stubborn.  And I mean physical pain!

It was early morning, and I went out toward the garden.  I well remember the heavy dew and that I was barefooted.  My grandmother was working on the edge of the garden.  I don’t recall exactly what she was doing, but she had a couple of rakes and a shovel.  I was curious and just walking out to see what she was doing.

She spoke to me about something.  I believe it was that I needed to go put on some shoes, or something like that.  I obviously had a rebellious spirit for some reason.  I know she was insistent, but I expressed a stubborn streak!

There was obvious disobedience on my part toward whatever she was suggesting that I go do.  Interesting that I don’t remember the particulars, but without certainty I recall the resistance I showed . . . and the consequence that came.

My grandmother in asking me to go back to the house, or something, also told me to be careful in the grass because of thorns and tools.  My stubbornness paid no attention.

We understand the word stubborn.  It means to be obstinate, unmovable, determined in purpose.  I was all of that.  Just like a donkey . . . I was not going to do anything except “my way.”  That is a characteristic that can hurt us . . . and of course hurt relationships with others.

And what price did I pay for my stubbornness?  I am sure that I would have received some discipline . . . but I paid a bigger price!  I would suffer physically for several weeks.  As I refused to retreat to the house, I began to walk in the high grass in which my grandmother had told me to be careful.  Unknown to her, she had laid a long-tooth rake down with the prongs facing up.  I stepped directly on the rake —  one of the prongs penetrated my foot (remember she had told me to go put on shoes) and pierced my foot all the way through.

You can imagine the reaction of this young boy!  Yelling, screaming . . . about to die!  Then follow-up to the doctor . . . shots . . . limp . . . and less activity for weeks!  Yes, I paid the price for my stubbornness!  And although she was not at fault, my grandmother suffered also from my stubbornness.  Imagine how bad she felt that she had left the rake where she did — but it would have been insignificant where the rake had been laid if I had not been stubborn!

There can be a positive side to stubbornness.  Like that of the mule.  The mule is not really a stubborn animal.  A mule has intelligence that appears as if stubborn.  A mule seems stubborn because the animal will not put itself in danger.  What appears to be stubbornness is a way of saying something is not right.  That is positive stubbornness!

It is the kind of stubbornness that can protect us from evil and danger.  As the mule senses that something is not right, I need to be stubborn about some places I go and some activities I engage in — even if others feel I am being stubborn!

But for most of us, the characteristic of stubbornness is a negative that needs to be confronted and dealt with.  When conquered, it prohibits broken relationships and a reputation that is not complimentary.  Stubbornness hurts us and others.  It does cause suffering!

Stubbornness can be defeated.  It is a matter of yielding and obeying Him!  Christ in my life can remove — or at least control — stubbornness!

“Do not be stiff-necked (stubborn) . . . submit to the Lord.”  (2 Chronicles 30:8)   “A man who remains stiff-necked (stubborn) after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed —  without remedy.”  (Proverbs 29:1)

Lawson

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