Recently, somebody gave me an ultimatum. This bit of déjà vu took me back 35 years. Her name was Sharon. Arguably the most negative person I’d ever met, she was my only option for lunch: she’d taken me on a pub crawl (I repeat—decades ago), and besides, I wasn’t popular in the Flake Department (they didn’t like my nimble typing fingers).
Skip forward. Friends in the Exceptional Department invited me to lunch, and since I’m somewhat normal, I invited Sharon. Here came that ultimatum: I had to choose between them and her. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what they call a no-brainer. ‘Brings to mind that old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.”
I suppose I’ve laid out a few ultimata in my day; I’m a mother, after all (hee hee). But it seems to me, “Either stop playing with your food, or I’ll stop feeding you,” is hardly a challenge; it’s more like an empty promise (especially the way my cooking was back then).
The word ultimatum is from the Latin for “the last one.” I’ve wondered how Sharon could look around that giant cafeteria, and then at those welcoming grins—and still look at me and say, “Take it or leave it.” It was her “final, uncompromising set of conditions issued, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force.” [wiki]
Sharon didn’t have the guts for all that. I simply picked up my light-blue tray and joined the group of friends with whom I would dine for a decade.
A friend called me today, describing a similar situation she is facing; somebody laid it on the line. I suppose, to a certain extent, we all scrap to get our own way—which boils down, really, to extortion. These are ugly words.
Call me old fashioned (or just call me Christian!). Or maybe call me a conscientious objector—but 35 years later, it’s still a no-brainer: I can still find somebody else to crawl with. (Thankfully, it won’t be to the pub.)
Psalm 138:7a & 8a Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me … The LORD will accomplish what concerns me
Prov. 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.