"If you take the left, then I will go to the right"
"What do you want for dinner?"
"You want to drive?"
"Do you want the chocolate or the vanilla?"
Could be any conversation between two people. We might have dozens of conversations like these every week, with friends or family. But when we offer a choice to someone else means one of two things: either "I'm fine with either choice" or "It matters to me, but I want you to have what matters to you."
In Genesis 13, we see this conversation happening between Abraham and his nephew Lot. And there are two lessons from this interaction.
The first is the decision. Abraham ("Abram," at the time) and his flocks and herds and tents, were conflicting with Lot and his flocks and herds and tents. "their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together." So they needed to put some space between them. So who would go in which direction?
A decision needed to be made, but Abraham didn't make it. He was the patriarch of his family. There were rights, respects, etc to be paid to him by Lot. He was in a position to demand whichever land he chose. But he didn't. He didn't choose, and he didn't demand.
In verse 9, Abraham said, "Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or if you go to the right, then I will go to the left."
Is it because Abraham knew how blessed he was? He knew how much God had given him, and he did not feel the need to demand his rights? 'Cuz there's a good lesson for us. You're incredibly blessed. Are you still demanding rights?
The second thing to learn is about the fact that Abraham knew a decision had to be made. There was strife between his herdsmen and Lot's. And it's hard to be at peace when important people in your life are undergoing strife.
Sometimes there's nothing we can do about it. Sometimes we need to find our peace despite physical or emotional or spiritual turmoil in our lives. And it's possible. It's what He calls the peace that transcends understanding.
Then there are times when we need to separate ourselves from it. Other people's stuff needs to happen, and we need to let it, and maybe we need to detach ourselves emotionally or physically. Might be a challenge, but maybe it's the challenge He has put before us.
Lastly, are the times we need to take action. That's what Abraham did. They had done a lot of journeying. There's no way to tell how long things had been difficult between the groups. But it was time to do something about it.
What to do and when to do it. And then how to do it. Not easy. And decisions come up every day. Makes that whole "pray without ceasing" thing look pretty good, doesn't it?
The motto? Do what's right. Unless God wants you to go left.
~ "Lot chose for himself...
and Lot journeyed east...
Then Abram moved his tent,
and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees...
and built an altar there to the Lord" ~