A man was hired to drive a dump truck with a team of other men. He had driven large machinery and vehicles in his previous jobs, so this was quite comfortable. The particular truck he was assigned to was very outdated and no one else wanted to drive it.
The men in his group grinned when he agreed to take ‘Ol Bessy’ as they called the truck. It broke down several times and the man spent more time under the hood trying to get it running then behind the wheel.
A complaint was filed when ‘Ol Bessy’ stopped in the middle of an intersection and refused to start up again. A driver attempted to turn around and avoid the delay, causing an accident which hindered traffic even more. Ol’ Bessy was finally more of a liability than an asset, and a new truck was ordered.
The lead driver offered to give the new man his dump truck, but another driver overheard him and protested. An argument began, so the new driver said he would wait for the new truck. The new truck arrived and the man was very impressed. He tried to push the vehicle to its limits and found it was up to the challenge. Statistics showed the newest member of the team was by far out-performing the rest of the team. No one was happy with the news, and more than one man approached him and asked that he “slow it down a little” and pace himself.
The man tried not to smile when someone said that. He responded that the truck was built well, and he was just using it as it was made. He pointed out that the entire team’s profit had increased. He also reminded them of the upcoming bonus they would all receive if he kept up the pace. After a letter of appreciation on the impressive progress made by the new truck and driver, a group of drivers got together. They plotted to sabotage the new truck and slow it down. After two obviously intentional attempts to damage his truck, the man offered to change trucks with his lead.
The lead man put the new truck through several challenges, and was happy with how well it responded. He drove it a little too fast and went slightly off the road. A deep pothole swallowed the front wheel, and the axle was tweaked getting out of the hole. Surveying the damage, he swore under his breath and called for a tow.
He watched his old truck with a large load pass by with the new man at the wheel. He had offered to the take his lead’s assigned pickup. The lead smiled, believing the new guy would soon be humbled. He knew the truck and it’s weight limits. Only a pro could manage that truck at max weight, and he doubted the new man could handle it. He took the news that his new truck would take several weeks to repair well, knowing he might not be the only one unable to work.
Back at the shop, the lead waited to hear news of something wrong with the new man’s truck or the delivery. He was disappointed to see the man return unscathed and on time. The precedent of success continued, and the new man showed he could progress quite well even without his new fancy truck. The entire team of men were outraged, believing the man was intentionally showing them up.
The man was assigned the worst jobs, and the most dangerous ones. He seemed unmoved, and completely capable of meeting the challenges. Frustrated and envious, the men plotted to sabotage the man’s truck yet again. One man in the group, younger than most and often the brunt of jokes, had a moment of guilt. He had participated in one act of sabotage, but it had bothered him. Knowing the trend would continue, he approached the new man. “Please leave, you work too hard and you have too many enemies” he said simply.
The new driver listened to the words carefully, and nodded to the younger man. It was clear that things were becoming worse and he had noticed his coworkers didn’t like him very much. He had hoped to impress them into acceptance, but realized that had backfired. He gave his notice and was told he could leave that day. As he looked back over his shoulder on his way out the door, the new truck that had been his was just arriving with a new axle. He shook his head, and walked on, it was still a great truck.
Moral of the story:
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
In Matthew 2:13 the verse describes something new (a child) being unwelcome. This story explored how even something new and useful (the new man and the new truck) might be anything but popular. Normally we take ‘new’ to be synonymous with good and worthwhile. We love new gadgets, new clothes; anything we just purchased.
Jesus was new to the world, but already the king of the region wanted to destroy him. It reminds me of another infant in the Bible who also survived when most infants did not, Moses. Both had done nothing but be born and yet their very lives were endangered. Both were judged guilty and worthy of death. The drivers in the story surrounding the new man were also guilty of this kind of unjustified opinion. In our family, the workplace, school, church or other, it can be easy to fall into the crowd mentality and judge someone. It is much more challenging to take a step outside of the circumstance and see that person as a creature made by God and loved by God. How often I toy with these thoughts myself. I see fault and I forget the person. Whether justified or not, it’s wrong.