Today I was driving back from my women’s bible study at the church when I noticed in my rear view mirror a police car following very close behind me with its lights flashing. A few thoughts went quickly through my head and then settled into this one – “I need to pull over!” I have no doubt that my driving got worse just because of the guilt I felt being tailed by a highway patrol officer. In the mirror I could see the frustration on his face but I couldn't see his eyes through the sun glasses he wore (This probably didn’t help my driving). It took a while before I could find a suitable, safe place to pull over on the winding road, but eventually I did. I knew I hadn’t impressed him with my driving ability so I thought I would try to impress him with my parking. I even took his safety into consideration and left enough room behind me for him to park out of the way of traffic.
Funny thing is, when I turned around after all of my thoughtful consideration, he wasn’t there- he was gone! As I glanced back at the road ahead of me I just barely caught a glimpse of him rounding the next turn and then disappearing from sight. There I sat thinking about how silly I had been, how guilty I felt, and how I totally misinterpreted the whole situation.
The officer was after someone else, not me. I was just driving along minding my own business (not sure why I felt guilty about that) and I got in his way. The frustration on his face was probably him biting his lip to keep from yelling, “Hey lady, get out of my way!” He apparently wanted to go faster than my “just moseying home from bible study” four-cylinder minivan was traveling.
I think there are times when that very same thing happens with me and God. Sometimes (a lot) I misinterpret what He is doing in other people’s lives around me (especially my children’s) and I get in His way. Sometimes I even take on unnecessary guilt, or start the “thoughtful” plans to handle the situation with the least amount of suffering or harm to others as possible. I wonder how many times He has wanted to blow me out of the way with His mighty breath or pick me up and move me. How many times has His Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “move out of the way?” Sometimes it isn’t about me, it is about someone else and I need to move over and let God pass. Let Him do His work in that person’s life without getting in His way.
At first I was thinking it might be nice if He had lights to flash at me or maybe a siren. That way I would know to pull over, but now that I’ve thought about it for a minute, I am reminded of 1Kings 19:11-12. God didn’t choose to speak to Elijah in the light of fire, or the sound of a powerful wind, He spoke in a gentle whisper. I’m pretty sure that is how God wants to speak to me. I think He chooses that way because it requires me to really listen hard, to be still (and quiet) and know that He is God. Today perhaps He did choose to use the lights of a police car to get my attention and teach me a lesson. I hope I learned it.
I’m going to do my best to mind my own business, watch my own speed, and keep my eyes on the road ahead of me and not the road ahead of someone else. Hopefully, God won’t have to keep patiently speaking into my life, “get out of the way!”
And when it is me He is after…well, that is another story!
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by,”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (1Kings 19: 11-12)