Thursday, September 26, 2013

Obey the Signs

"I can't drive slow."

That was part of a conversation between some of my co-workers.  Someone had gotten a speeding ticket and went to court for it the day before.  They were discussing how to correctly speed and get away with it.  Yes, that's right.  How to correctly speed. Apparently, you don't speed in the left lane unless you want to get caught. To properly speed, you should drive in the right lane.  I don't understand the reasoning, but this person gets away with it.  I guess because the left lane is for passing, it's more obvious if you pass in that lane???

When asked how fast he was going, the person who received the ticket told us he was going 85 in a 65. "Oh, I go 100 in my car," bragged Michael (not his real name--we need to protect those speeders!), yet another speeder.  "I can't do that in my truck, but in my car I can."
"What?" I exclaimed. "100???"
"Yeah," he replied.  He had an audience now.  "I can't drive slow!"
"Yes you can," I told him.
"No, I really can't."
" CAN.  You just don't want to."
"No, I really can't." He had convinced himself that he cannot drive slow!

I was telling my friend, Judy this story later that evening.  She said, "It's interesting that you say that, Mare. Because I am aware that I drive too fast and I know I have to slow down. I tried it tonight and I even thought, 'Maybe I'll start tomorrow.'  How bad is that?"

"Well, you drove fine in Hershey,"  I told her.  Judy and I had gone to Hershey, PA in the beginning of August to a Joyce Meyer conference.  She drove; I navigated. And because she drove, she literally drove everywhere. One night, we were leaving the stadium, and I noticed that she was in the left turn lane, but we needed to turn right. I told her this, but she couldn't move over--there were way too many cars (all from the conference; hadn't they learned kindness in there?).  So she had to turn left onto a four lane highway which didn't seem to have anyplace to turn around.  We had sat in traffic for a long time and we were hungry.  I was becoming impatient with her patient and careful driving and told her to just pull a u-turn.  "On a four lane highway?" She must have been glad at that moment that she was driving and not me.  Because I continued..."Well, if I was driving, I would have just pulled a u-turn.  You could do it-you have to be quick." She didn't think that was a good idea...I don't know why.

I was convicted of my driving habits that weekend and when I got home, I started paying attention to the speed limit signs, the "No Left Turn" signs, and (ouch) the "No U-Turn" signs, instead of saying, "Oh, I didn't see that," because it was more convenient for me to ignore the sign than to obey it.  Exactly WHO was I saying that to anyway, when it was only me and God in the car?  You can't lie to God.

Webster's defines a sign as "a posted command, warning or direction."  A sign is placed on the road for our direction, warning or command...that's right...command, not suggestion.  We don't get to choose how fast we'd like to go.  We don't get to decide if it's convenient for us to not make a u-turn or left turn.  Someone has decided that it's not safe to do those things. Those signs do not just pertain to others and not us.  They are public.  That means for me, for Judy, for Michael, and for you. If we observe the signs, it will go well for us.  If we don't, we get speeding tickets.

I guess you could say that the bible is our spiritual sign. It is filled with directions, warnings and commands on how to live a righteous and joyful life.  The Lord, our God gave us commands so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised...(Deut 8:1).  We are told to observe the commands of the Lord, your God, walking in his ways and revering him.  For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land...(Deut 8:6-7)...this land is described as plentiful, where the Israelites would lack nothing (Deut 8:9).

Further, they were warned not to forget the Lord, your God; that if they didn't observe the commands, things may still go well for them, because they are in a plentiful land, but they would become prideful and be destroyed. (Deut 11-20).

When we do not observe the signs, whether they be physical roadsigns or spiritual signs--giving in to bad habits or sin, being self-centered, self-absorbed and self-serving, we diminish the authority over us.  There is an umbrella of authority in our government, whether we like it, or agree with it, or not.  They are the ones who placed the road signs where they are-for our protection and safety.

There is also a spiritual umbrella of authority in God our Father.  When we observe his commands, when we walk under the umbrella of His authority, in Truth, walking closely in His ways, we revere him.  We have a healthy fear of God.  But when we come out from under that umbrella, we risk losing our way.  We get caught in the storms. We risk the safety of our relationship with Christ.

The first time we walk in disobedience, we begin to revere him a little less.  Each time gets easier and takes us further away from Him.  Eventually, we notice that "Hey, nothing bad happened.  I can get away with this.  I just need to do it in the slow lane, not in the obvious fast lane-the one where I'll get caught." Our hearts become prideful, and we boast about how we "can't go slow."  We risk walking...or driving down the fast lane of destruction. It's a slow process; one sin, one disobedient action at a time.  Don't "wait until tomorrow," like Judy thought she might like to do (note:  Judy did NOT wait until tomorrow.  She was late for her appointment and the world didn't end!).

God does allow U-Turns; just be sure they are not the illegal or unsafe ones.  Make the U-Turn in a safe place-in Christ Jesus.

Blessings along the path,

Worship Song of the Day: It's not a Kid's Song!  But wait till you see these kids worshipping God! We should all come to him like children!
Trust and Obey: Hillsongs Kids

This is just fun and funny!
Funny Roadsigns

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