3 April, Saturday – Live and Let Live

Holy Saturday — Third Reading

Ex 14:15—15:1 Ex 15:1-2,3-4,5-6,17-18

The cloud was dark, and the night passed without the armies drawing any closer the whole night long.

‘Live and let live’ was a phrase developed during World War I and popularized during the Christmas Truce of 1914, where troops deliberately abstained from the use of violence temporarily during periods of conflict. In today’s reading, the pursuit of the Israelites appeared to enter into an overt truce when the Egyptians did not advance on their targets during the night. I wonder if things might have turned out differently if Pharaoh did not order his troops to follow in pursuit but instead, extend a lifeline to the Israelites; a move which would have saved the lives of his chariots and charioteers. That night was a deciding factor; perhaps it was God’s extension of His mercy to Pharaoh’s army one last time, for a chance to repent and a change of mind. Had Pharaoh decided to soften his heart and freed the Israelites genuinely, precious lives would not have been lost. However, Pharaoh gratified his malice and vengeance; went back on his promise, and got angry with himself for it. His pride and rage turned against himself and he ended up suffering a humiliating defeat.

Similarly, there are so many occasions in our lives where we have allowed anger and pride to get the better of us. Sometimes, we were lucky to get away with it; on other occasions, we might end up hurting ourselves and others, souring relationships or suffering greater losses. A fairly common example is of road rage incidents in Singapore. I’ve witnessed numerous occasions where drivers were enraged, simply by the sounding of car horns or having others cut into their lanes. In turn, they resort to expletives or sometimes even gave chase to the other party in order to make their displeasure known. Such rash acts arising from a few seconds of anger mismanagement will endanger the lives of other road users and could result in unnecessary accidents. I’m sure these incidents occur in other countries as well; just that personally, I find that local driving etiquette has lots more room for improvement. Perhaps it isn’t so much of us not being a gracious society — I attribute it largely to the competitive nature and density of traffic lights in Singapore. The excessive delays as a result of unwarranted number of traffic signals here has inculcated an environment where the slightest delay could trigger an eruption of anger from our drivers. Like the song “Live and Let Live” from Jefferson Starship, the lyrics tell us not to hold on to anger, or it might have a hold on us. Bitterness will keep growing and affecting everything we do. Either we set our faces toward the crucifixes hanging from the rear-view mirrors and try to live godly in Christ, or we should start playing this song during our daily commutes. Either way, we must be expected to be set upon by Satan’s temptations and learn to let go in our short earthly journeys. In short, to live and let live.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Dylan Tan)

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, help us to be an instrument of your peace, and give us the will and strength to forgive others and free ourselves from the chains that bind us. May you shower your comfort upon us and give us the peace that transcends all understanding. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for being with us every single moment of our lives and protecting us from the temptations of this world.    

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