With the recent death of Stuart McLean, the host of the vinyl café, I’m reminded of a particular story I first heard on the program. It is a story that tells of an old Chinese restaurant owner dealing with a racist customer.
The customer used to walk into the restaurant every week and sit at the same booth. He would ask for “chickie flight rice,” and make fun of the aged restaurant owner. Rather than snapping back at the customer as the Chinese man’s son wanted him to do, he employed an altogether different tactic. He began to slightly shorten the seat in the booth by about a half an inch every week. As well, the restaurant owner began to alter a painting the customer admired, that hung on the wall of the booth. He slowly added clothing to the women featured in the painting. Bit by bit, he changed the season from summer to winter. Week after week, the seat became shorter and shorter and the picture of the women, who were once on a beach in bikinis, transformed into a mountain scene with women in parkas. The seat became so short that the man, who was once loud and ignorant, became smaller and smaller and quieter and quieter, until one day, he did not come back.
This is a very powerful strategy for us as believers to employ. There are times and situations when we should just cast the enemy out of our lives. But the Bible is also clear that we must resist the enemy and he will flee. Prayer by prayer, with one good decision after another, we can make our dwelling place an uncomfortable place for the enemy to reside. We can make it a place where a loud, obnoxious enemy will become small, silent, and eventually completely removed. This is absolutely a lifelong process, accomplished one positive choice at a time. As with the old Chinese man painting stroke by stroke on the picture or removing a half an inch at a time from the bench, our small, positive choices can amount to big victories! So, resist the enemy one choice at a time and you will win!
God bless and thank you for reading.