Saturday, January 26, 2008

Beyond What We Can Imagine

I first saw him in the rear view mirror, coming up from nowhere as he dangerously weaved in and out of traffic on the three lane high speed freeway to the peril of the drivers around him. I was in the leftmost lane behind another car.

He sidled up on my right, but couldn't pass because of the other cars. As he crossed over into my lane, inches from the right side of my car, I blew the horn to move him back over.

A few seconds later, he had moved up and cut me off dangerously by only a few feet. I honked the horn again. To spite me, and only to spite me as by this time the car in front of us had moved further on, he slammed on his brakes so I had no choice but to hit mine. He then sped off, weaving dangerously and recklessly through all the other cars. He was gone in seconds.

Even though I knew there was no possibility of pursuing him in the car I was driving, nor did I honk the horn again, I entertained both of these possibilities, if only for a split second. Though the whole world is full of selfish drivers who put others at risk, where I live often seems far worse than the U.S. After all, someone needed to bless this person by instructing him in the art of safe driving!

I then tuned back into the message I was in the process of listening to on my mp3 player: Beyond What We Can Imagine, a spiritual assessment by Bruce Jackson. Bruce happened to be filling the pulpit at a church whose podcasts I frequently listen to while I'm driving on the highway. In this particular message Bruce encourages us to consider where we are heading spiritually as we head into the new year.

I kid you not-- this is what I heard in the split second after the car cut me off and slammed on his brakes: "One thing, if you drive, on the roads, during rush hour.... and someone cuts you off... When someone cuts me off, what's the disposition of my heart?.... " Even someone as dense as I can be gets the point when God speaks in such a clear and obvious way. The section on driving occurs about 1 1/2 minutes into the January 6 message linked above. Check it out!

Thanks God, for loving me so much that from time to time you speak miraculously like this. Some might merely dismiss it as coincidence.

Thank you too for the invitation to look into my heart again, and for another safe arrival to my intended destination. I'm reminded once again, whether it's in local driving on a scooter when a crazy driver narrowly misses me, or in highway incidents such as these, that You are in control, and that you desire to use the circumstances I encounter to change my heart.

"O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.... Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting..." (Psalm 139:1-10, 23-24)