The other day I was in a store, turned the corner, and met a woman coming in the opposite direction, around the same corner. I did a quick version of the Winn-Dixie Two-Step, and said, "Excuse me." Her reply was, "Sure," and she kept walking. Here's the thing: her response really hacked me off. I mean, I was ticked. She didn't even say, "Excuse me," back! She didn't try to move out of the way, she just said, "sure" and kept moving. Who did this chick think she is?!
It took a couple of days, but it finally hit me why I got so mad at her. It was because her response hurt my pride. See, I requested that she excuse me. In other words, I gave her the authority to agree with me that my actions were wrong, albeit unitentional. What I was really saying is, "You have the authority in this situation to excuse me. Will you, please?" And when she replied back to me, what she was really saying was, "You know what, you're right. You are wrong in this situation. Yes, I do excuse you." C'mon, you're smart, you know where I'm going with this, right?
Even though I said what I needed to say, it didn't really reflect what I wanted to have happen. What I wanted to happen was that I would say, "Excuse me," and she would reply, "No, excuse me." Totally absolving me of any fault in the situation and taking all the blame on herself. After all, I'm Jason Noah, I shouldn't have to be at fault for anything. (It's a real wonder there was enough room for she and I to stand on the same aisle with my ego!) But that's not what happened. Instead, she did exactly what she should have done. I asked for pardon (and in doing so admitted I needed it), and she gave it to me. Funny, you'd think I'd actually be thankful instead of mad, but then, see, you're forgetting my pride.
So she and I went our seperate ways, and I've once again been struck at the depths of my sin and ugliness. Really, for me, it's on top of those little Mount Sinai's like grocery store aisles and intersections where I learn so much.