Wednesday, January 27, 2010
What I Learned on the Way to School
I wasn’t eating while driving. I wasn’t shaving while driving. I wasn’t texting while driving and I certainly wasn’t drinking while driving. But I was guilty of praying while driving. I was praying for direction. I was praying for wisdom. I was praying for patience. I was praying for holiness.
1. Deer Crossing
As I was driving along, it was cold and frost still clung to my window. And suddenly there in the middle of the road was a lone doe. She was in no hurry. She stopped right there in my lane and I had to come to a complete stop. It was very unusual. A deer on drugs? Most deer scramble to get out of the way but she just stopped as if to say, “What are you doing on my road?” The driver coming up behind me had to hit his brakes so as to not rear-end me.
I know a doe never travels alone. Sure enough, out of the right side ditch emerged another doe. She too, meandered across the road. When I was sure all was clear I proceeded on my way.
Application: Sometimes our paths are obstructed. I don’t know why those deer just happened to be crossing the road when I was passing that way. Maybe it’s just a coincidence when people and things get in our way. Maybe it’s providential when those things happen.
Psalms 57:6 “They dug a pit in my path….”
Hosea 2:6 “Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes…”
I had several options…I could have just plowed them over. Deer hunting with a Forerunner. Meat for supper. Devour the obstruction.
I could have swerved dangerously, maybe ending up in a ditch, off the roadway. In a place I shouldn’t be. That move could lead to an accident, perhaps a very destructive accident, maybe even a fatal accident.
When obstructions get in the way we don’t just plow recklessly through them. We don’t adopt dangerous maneuvers to avoid them. We use caution. We slow down. Maybe even stop if we have to. Maybe we consider another path.
If God has allowed these obstructions to come in our pathway he has allowed it for a purpose. We don’t always see why. We can’t see the big picture. So, we must simply trust him for all things. Sometimes we just need a healthy dose of faith in the providential sovereignty of God.
2. Railroad Crossing
I continued down the road toward my destination. As I ascended a hill on Fortson Road and began my descent I saw a line of traffic stopped at the railroad crossing. The single track serves the local gravel pit only and its very unusual to be stopped there for a train but sure enough, the engine was dragging car after car filled with gravel out of the stony pit.
There were probably a dozen cars in front of me waiting patiently, all but one. He maneuvered his car until he got turned around and in his frustration he gunned it the other way. Thirty or forty seconds later the train passed and we were able to move forward. I thought, if the fellow had only been a bit more patient he would be on his way now.
He probably reached his destination this morning but I’m very sure it took him longer to get there than it would have had he just been patient and waited a few more seconds for the train to pass.
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with ….. patience”
Sometimes we cross paths with those who are moving toward a different destination than we are. We sometimes get impatient with those in our lives who are either way ahead of us or way behind us. We get impatient when we don’t see things the same way, when we can’t agree on which path to take, when our goals seem to differ greatly.
In those moments when we feel most impatient….we are tempted to turn around, to take another path. How often is the awaited blessing just ahead? So close, so very close. How sad that so many turn around just before experiencing the victory, just before the blessing is manifested.
Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret…”
Micah 7:7 “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”
Romans 8:25 “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently”
3. The Four Way Stop
I know now after the deer and the train that I’m going to be late. But now I must negotiate the 4-way stop. The four-way stop is a place of courtesy. It is a place where you proceed only when it’s your turn. There is a time to go and a time not to go. It’s dangerous, because if you go before it’s your turn you may have an accident.
You would be surprised how many people seem to have no idea what to do when they get to the 4-way stop. You have to think several moves ahead. If you are the fourth to arrive, three others will proceed before you do.
Sometimes it’s prudent to let others proceed even when it’s your turn. It might be wise to sit back and allow another to have their way rather than risk an accident.
Some of those people move out of turn because they are self-serving. They do everything to benefit them selves and they don’t even hesitate to step on someone who gets in their way. Some of those people are distracted. They are talking on cell phones and they are not capable of thinking four moves ahead while their minds are preoccupied with something other than the task at hand.
What are you to do when someone is discourteous, when someone violates your right to a turn, when someone delays you because they are selfish in their own efforts. If this happens you should pull in behind them, gun it, pull parallel to them and then gradually run them off the road. You then take the hammer from the bed of your truck and methodically beat all the windows from their vehicle. No!
Ecc. 5:19 says that God enables us to “accept our lot.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Conclusion: I was late this morning, about 8 minutes late. I realized all my fretting was in vain when I pull in the parking lot only to discover that I was the first teacher to arrive.