musings on worship and christian living

Look both ways before you… look… look both… are you kidding me?
May 29, 2008, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If one thing has become apparent in the last (almost) 30 years of my life it is that I see things a little different than most people.  I seem to notice, and at times get hung up on aspects of a situation that no one else even cares about.  At times it produces great revelations that I get to blog about… other times it drives me nuts and elicits a much different outcome.

A few weeks back I had one of these moments where something I observed created an “oh…” moment, and now is being transformed into a (hopefully) witty and impacting blog.

The incident of interest happened on a Sunday morning, about 7:30 in the AM.  I  was headed to church and was taking my normal side road route to avoid traffic lights.  I pulled up to an intersection where myself and the gentleman across the road had stop signs, but the road we were crossing did not.  I noticed him sitting there while I was still a half a block away and he was still motionless when my truck rumbled to a stop.

I looked to the left… no cars.  I looked to the right…. no cars.  I looked across the road at that black Mitsubishi Montero expecting him to be proceeding along his desired path.  Yet there he continued to sit, apparently having no intention of heading the words of Edgar Alan Poe in the poem El Dorado to “ride boldly ride”.  Thinking I most assuredly had missed something, maybe some nearly invisible auto cruising down the byway, I looked again… left?  No cars.  Right?  No cars.  Mitsubishi?  Still sitting.

Normally at this time I would have begun to implore him verbally to push the skinny pedal on the right and motivate that fossil fuel powered wheeled vehicle across the street and out of my way.  But for some reason I just watched him in amazement as he looked left, the right.  Left, then right.  Left, then right.  Left then right.

Now I must paint the picture of this intersection for you.  Some intersections in the wonderful city of Vancouver, WA have limited visibility, and often times the liquid sunshine (rain) can further hamper a drivers vision.  However, on this particular day and at this particular intersection neither of those situations were factors.  It was just before dawn and a nice even sunlight clearly illuminated the miles of visible road that stretched out on each side of us.  We were the only two cars anywhere close to the area!  Honestly, there was so much empty road a herd of sloths could have successfully crossed the street for coffee and walked back unhampered.  (Is a bunch of sloths together a herd?)

I sat and watched that guy look back and forth for at least a minute before he cautiously crossed the road and released me from my prison of bewilderment.  I couldn’t believe someone would spend so much of their life making sure an empty road was safe to cross.

As I sat thinking about that situation it brought to my mind Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents.  I just thought about that one servant that go so freaked out about doing anything that he buried that stinking talent in the ground so nothing bad would happen.  In the end his fear of loss resulted in far greater loss than if he would have invested and failed.  In fact… he got tossed out!  Verse 30 says, “throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  (I’m not sure what they mean by “gnashing of teeth”, but my vision of it is a place where everyone eats with their mouths open. i.e. hell. ugh!)

When I watched that guy looking over and over again I thought to myself, “Buddy!  At some point you’re either going to have to cross the road or turn around and go home!  You can’t live your life freaked out that something may happen if you cross that road.  That’s not life!”

How often have we sat looking in the eyes of the lost and failed to cross that street and share hope with them?  We are so afraid of getting hit that we don’t even move.  So often the road is empty and there is nothing to impede our progress but still we sit.  We sit and sit and when a car passes 30 minutes later we say, “whew!  See!  The road is dangerous!”

What has God called you to do that you are failing at because you’re too afraid to cross that street?  Is it to share hope and life with a lost friend?  Is it to pursue a dream that no one thinks would succeed?

The reality is the road is dangerous.  You may lose everything, you may gain everything or you may land somewhere in the middle.  But what is true failure anyway?  Is it trying and not succeeding or is it to never try at all?  Don’t spend your whole life checking the road.*

*Please note… If you have missed it, this blog is talking about life, not actual driving.  PLEASE look both ways and drive your car safely.


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