I know a lot of the things I write seem to center around being in the car, but since I spend a good portion of each week IN THE CAR…well…that’s where I encounter a lot of God thoughts.
This past week, I was waiting to pull out of a narrow little side street that runs between the north and south bound arteries of the interstate that dissects our town down the middle.
Because of the position of a building on the corner, you have to sneak out pretty close to oncoming traffic to watch for your entry point into the flow.
On this particular day, as I inched out to gain my vantage point, a pickup truck was approaching to make the tight turn into the lane next to me. I could see him fighting his wheel to keep his vehicle between the edge of my car and the far curb.
I immediately felt awful and “in the way” of this driver, as I double checked the position of my car.
Was I too far over on his side?
Had I crept out into the main road beyond what is acceptable?
As I quickly assessed and took on as much blame as is humanly possible for a people-pleaser….complete with hand gestures and mouthed apologies to the driver of the truck, I realized…
most of the problem with his frantic wheel maneuvering seemed to come from the fact that he was trying to steer one handed so he could hold his cell phone up to his ear.
Yes, as he made a left hand turn, his right hand was completely useless for the endeavor to smoothly navigate the corner.
Even though our state passed a little old law a while back about hands free cell phone; this fellow…like a large number of other local motorists…ignore the law and continue to drive distracted.
It is frustrating when you are trying to do the right thing and people who are doing the wrong thing seem to wreak havoc on your day or week…or life.
So as I recovered from feeling guilty that I had somehow caused angst to another human, while also rejoicing that the corner of our car had not been clipped by a truck; I thought how much like life on planet earth this little incident reminded me of.
While I have certainly needed my share of grace for mistakes and for outright rebellion, my heart is set on doing the right thing each day. I rely on prayer and seeking God for choices and decisions, listening to the promptings of His Spirit in me. I make corrections along the way and continue holding my actions up to His standard as I move through the day.
But not everybody does this.
In the course of every single day; I will encounter, in person or through social and informational news, others who are doing what they want…the way they want… according to the basis of the standards they use.
And this is where I find I need to know Jesus most of all.
Because it is, in the way I RESPOND to those who think and live differently than me, that I will reflect who HE IS.
It is my own heart, held before the Lord, that I must focus on even as I live amongst the consequences of the choices made by others.
This coming week we will begin the season of Lent; the 40 days of preparation between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
I encourage each of you to prayerfully ask God how you can set aside some time each day to seek Him in deeper ways.
May God bless you and give you a path of preparation, examination and cleansing that will lead you closer to Him on this narrow road we follow.
I look forward to our journey through the weeks leading up to the celebration of Resurrection Sunday 2017, as we bring our hearts before Him and examine them in light of who HE says we are.