It is amazing how God takes those stupid things we do and uses them to teach us some very profound lessons. You will probably see many posts here at CrossConnected resulting from a lesson learned from a stupid turn. I seem to get a lot of those!
I'll make what could be a long story short so as not to bore you with details. Suffice it to say that I did something stupid on I-55 the other day that resulted in some hard braking on my part. No contact, no bent metal, no one hurt, except for one bruised ego. (I pride myself on my driving since I drive better than anyone else temporarily in front of me.) This happened around 8:30 am.
The thing is, I drive a red truck, one of few-to-none traveling the same route I drive every day. This means that, if anyone else is paying attention, I am "that guy" in the red truck as opposed to one of those many guys in the white or beige truck. In other words, I don't blend in, and cannot easily be mistaken for someone else. My good driving may go unnoticed, but my poor driving shows up in bright red. I try to be conscious of this fact . . . but, sometimes I forget. So, I'm out there showing everyone around me what kind of person I am by my actions behind the wheel of my vehicle. (That's the only basis any of them have for forming an opinion of me.)
What they see that big bright red truck do, though, is not so much a concern to me as what they see in that small Christian emblem on my tail gate. It probably doesn't say much when my driving is at its best. By that I mean that I don't think anyone is noticing what a good Christian I am because of my excellent driving. I do fear that it speaks volumes when my driving is not what it should be. "What kind of a Christian is he?" "Well, he can't be much of a Christian driving like that!" "etc."
On my return trip at the end of the day, as I passed by the spot in the road where my stupidity had taken me in a direction that I had not wanted to go, I was again praising God and thanking Him that my earlier actions had been of no physical consequence. I glanced in my rear view mirror, as I had been doing all day, and there was a message intended for that particular place at that particular time. It had to be, as this was the umpteenth time I had gazed into that mirror that day, and had not seen the message..
You see, I have another "Christian symbol" inside my truck. It is a tiny wooden cross that normally dangles from my mirror, . . . there for anyone who will look to see. "Look at me. I'm a Christian!"
Certainly it had been there since my morning antics. But, if so, why hadn't I seen it? The little cross that normally dangles a good 5 - 6 inches below my mirror was now resting in the center of the mirror itself! Whether it was the force of my hard brake much earlier in the day, or whether it was the hand of God Himself who placed it there, my little symbol to the world, the thing that I had used to say "Look at me. I'm a Christian!" had flipped up and over and landed there in the mirror for no one other than myself to see.
The message was immediate, loud, and clear . . . and simple. "Dent," (that's actually what my daddy used to call me, but maybe Jesus does, too,) "Dent, those people out there don't need to see some symbol of who you want them to think you are. They need to see the real thing. The only way you can show Me to them is for them to see Me in you! So, here is something for you to look at. Keep your eye on the cross! Stay focused on Me! That's what I want them to see."
Galatians 2:20 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Dennis (or should I say "Dent"?)