Posted by: John Hall | January 14, 2008

Traffic

I was in the left hand turn lane, three cars back from the intersection in the morning rush.  It happened slowly like time was crawling so I just couldn’t miss it.  The green light was old and my attention was impatiently drawn to the the black Mercedes which seemed glued to its place in the middle of the intersection ahead of me.  Inevitably the light turned amber and still no movement from the black beast with the massive engine.  Each passing moment focused my attention on the clock and the realization that it was becoming less likely that my kids would get to school on time.  Finally the light turned red, eliminating all possibility that oncoming traffic could interfere with the continuation of the Mercedes journey, but still the car didn’t move.  Unfortunately neither did any other car in the intersection because of the uncooperative blockage.  Then gingerly, like a poorly placed book on a table will fall to the ground, the car tipped and fell out the intersection freeing traffic to resume its normal course.  My nerves were shot and I made sure that I commented on the quality of the drivers skill to my kids.  I got into all the details to make sure that my children (who can’t even cross the street by themselves) will be certain not to be drivers like the one in that black Mercedes. 

I like to think that I obey the law.  I get annoyed with law breakers.  But, I’m a hypocrite.  I break the law all the time (mostly traffic laws and when we had a dog the occassional poop and scoop bylaw).  I read Luke 11 in the bible this morning.  In this chapter Jesus goes after the ultra religious and lawyers of his day – the Pharisees.  Something got stirred up in me when I read about Jesus pointing out the emptiness of their religious behavior.  I was on his side cheering him on,  wishing I could be like him.  I thought of all the hypocrites that I knew that could really use a big dose of truth.  And then I thought of the incident at the intersection that morning.  In an instant I found myself listening to Jesus give me a big dose of truth. 

I realized that instead of desiring to zap people like Jesus we should be grieved at their blindness.  I sometimes want to rant, but the reality is that I haven’t the right.  Do I proclaim the kingdom of God ceaselessly, heal the sick, pray and worship like Jesus?  Are my ways blameless?  Am I God?  Jesus’ life spoke about the righteousness and glory of God.  My life doesn’t.  His actions were the expression of justice that the law pointed to, but mine are not.  I have to put on Christ’s righteousness to live, so I better leave judgment to Him.  In the meantime though, I can bless the next time I see someone turning left on a red, and in doing that I know righteousness will increase.   

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Responses

  1. Hi John – just tuned into your blog for the first time. Christ’s righteousness doesn’t look at all like ours, does it? Ours is stained by legalism and pride. His is glowing white with pure love.

    Let’s have some more lessons from your life!

  2. Why John, you are very much like me. That shouldn’ be a surprise. Lately, after having read “Understanding the Mind of a Woman”, I have been working hard at becoming more Christlike in my response. First to Sylvia, & then to the rest of the world. Other drivers can be a real challenge in this endeavor.

    Please write more!

    Bob


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