I recall the story of the husband and wife who were backing out of their driveway to go somewhere. The husband was driving with his loving wife in the passenger seat. Seeing the car get closer and closer to their mailbox at the end of the drive, the dialog went something like this:
Wife: Honey, watch out for the mailbox.
Husband: Yes, I see it.
Wife (as the car gets closer still to the mailbox): Watch out for the mailbox!
Husband: I SEE the mailbox!
Wife (as they get closer yet): you’re going to hit the mailbox!
Husband: Don’t worry, I see the ….
(Agonizing scraping sound of metal against metal, and mailbox falling to the ground)
We can imagine and laugh at the conversation that might have followed. But we’ve all been there, right? We are certain that we have the perspective on something while the other person maintains THEY are the ones to ‘see clearly.’ How embarrassing it is when the ‘mailbox’ goes down because of US.
Marcia and I have used this story when counseling young couples, reminding them that sometimes it is helpful to have a code phrase to bring clarity to a discussion. Whether in the home or at work, “I see the mailbox,” may be a good phrase to use to remind us that our vision, however clear it seems to us, may not be the only perspective on the situation.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”