When DO You Take The High Road?

When DO You Take The High Road? (Audio)

It's amazing where your mind goes when you are tired. Not just in the flesh, but in your emotions. Your feeling of invincibility is sadly lacking and that ability you once had to control where your thoughts demand you go… well, it's buried underneath an avalanche of just plain old T-I-R-E-D! Tired…

Okay. I woke up extra early this morning and knowing that sleep will not easily return, I made my way to my favorite chair and tried to assemble enough energy points to allow me a few more minutes of rest. Or climb the stairs and unload my mind via this blog. Sleep did not win. Hence, I'm writing and thinking through this thought this morning.

Care to stay with me a few moments?

I know that when I get tired there is probably no high road I can climb. No energy exists, and no amount of energy pills (M&M's) will help. It's true, I want to be like Robert Frost and take the road less traveled that makes all the difference. Instead, I clamber onto the speeding train and ride the rails that so many others do. Negativity. Backbiting. Slander. Sling the hash with the rest.

Here's what I know. When you continually take the high road and live above the morass, then your head is often in the clouds and you have no clue what's happening around you! Sometimes you have to dive into the fray and simply scramble around the pit, looking for advantage just like everyone else. Sometimes… Sometimes it feels good to get in a few licks and feel the tingle of adrenalin. There's no flight involved. It's a full on fight!

I was sharing with someone close last Friday about the day I stood up for myself in a class of teens during my final high school year in Channelview. I was taking a General Business class with a teacher who had just migrated from Junior High, and I was with younger students. This teacher and I were adversarial in this one class, but the class after lunch was a different experience. Business Law. A bunch of seniors. Totally different experience. After years of analyzing this, I realize more where he was coming from and where I was at.

Anyway, one day my grade was several letters lower than the missed points should have deserved. I missed three or four questions and got a "C" – while my friends around me missed 10-15 and got "A's" and "B's". Emotions raged. There's no way! "Coach!" I called him on it! And before you know it I have confronted this teacher in front of all of his attendees and waylaid him. Why? No control of my emotions at the moment. I was a teenager! Did he deserve it? Probably. Could I have handled it better? Definitely! Would I do it differently? Yep! Would I still waylay him? You got it!. Only, I now know how to handle these kinds of situations better!

Okay. Lesson learned. I've learned how to control my emotional outburst but every so often that high road gets lonely and I feel like I need, no, want to get into the mix. Bang a few heads. Threaten a few worthy souls. Be the aggressor.

Containing the aggressor within and not finding an avenue of escape will bottle up all those negative feelings. Like a pressure cooker unattended, there will come a point of explosion!

I find it an interesting study that Jesus stood and took all the accusations that could be thrown at him.

And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?" But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly. (Matthew 27:12-14 NKJV)

He spoke not one word… It is even prophesied that he would not speak. (Isaiah 53:7) Yet, when the Temple was being desecrated and turned into something it was not meant to be, he began to drive out the offenders and spoke harshly, yet lovingly, to them.

Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. (Luke 19:46 KJV)

His temple was more important than the accusations being thrown. From olden days, He understood how sacred this temple was. For generations, it was a place of sacrifice (2 Chronicles 7:12), and prayer (Isaiah 56:7), a place for the name of the LORD God of Israel (1 Kings 8:20), and the very place for the Spirit of God to dwell in (1 Chronicles 17:12). It was a holy and sacred place, yet it was being used for everyday commerce.

What's the lesson learned? Well, maybe too many to be analyzed today.

Here's my thought. Pick your battles. What's most important to stand up and fight against today? Pick it. Then fight. Elsewhere, take the high road… And the high road may be just one of the loneliest places you will ever be.

It was John Maxwell that emphasized, "Always take the high road." When you take the high road…

  • It's far less crowded. ~Warren Buffett.
  • The high road is always respected. ~Scott Hamilton
  • You will never regret it. ~Tim Gunn
  • …it'll serve you in the long run. ~Jeremy Piven
  • …you'll be able to build trusting relationships. ~Larry Wilcox
  • Love always takes the high road. ~Augusten Burroughs
  • …its rewards are tangible. ~Bruce Lee

But it was Martin Luther who spoke it best:"Man is

"Man is man because he is free to operate within a framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy." ~Martin Luther

Many years ago, while going through a mountain pass, I found a sign that grabbed my attention. I wanted to stop and take a picture…but it was not a safe place…  The highway sign read…

"Steep Hill Ahead, Crank It Up"

I understood immediately, that big trucks needed to ramp up their engines to have the capacity to make the climb. But something else stood out as I thought about all those same trucks making the reverse journey… What's hard going up, is equally hard headed down. The same concept was true when hunting in the mountains of Alaska. Climbing was as equally hard whether you were ascending, or descending.

Think about it a moment. Ascending to the high road, or descending to the low road, each of us should give pause to the effort it takes to move between the two areas. To me, it's better to take the high road and stay up all the time…but every so often a dip into the lower roads just may be the relief valve you need. Just saying. Chose wisely.