When I left for work this morning, it was grey and raining, still a bit dark, a normal Tennessee winter morning. First driver I encountered ran a stop sign with no headlights on, and I don’t mean he slowed down. He just went straight through. Within a mile or so, a tractor trailer pulled out in front of me and cut me off, still dark and raining, and by this time I was starting to consider joining in the game showing that my abilities at stupid are well out of amateur status and deep into professional. My ability to get mean behind the wheel is well documented by now, ask my wife. And I have to admit that one of the reasons that my Bible is on the dash in front of me is so that I have to look at it and be convicted before I allow my inner moron to emerge. My mind goes straight to a kind of holier than thou soapbox when I see someone driving in a way that’s not just wrong, but dangerous as well. I can easily get up on my podium and point my finger at these lightless, no turn signaling, cell phone addicted, no rules hazards to society and warn them of what I think about their being on the road where my family and friends are and and rain down fire and brimstone all day! But honestly, I’m no better, I just let myself think that I am. Too many times, that Bible on my dash convicts me more than anyone else.
After all, the reason that we are slaves to sin and the law is that God gave us what we wanted. In the Garden, there was one law and our free will made that one too many, Israel got ten, again, ten too many and now we can’t even count them. Seriously, I did a Google search on the number of laws we have in this country, not surprisingly no one knows for sure. Even in this advanced day there are so many laws that experts admit that they don’t even know how many we have. Why? Easy, no matter how many laws we give ourselves, we always look for a loophole or a workaround for them, maybe because we think that they apply to everyone but us. Maybe because we don’t like someone telling us what to do and how to do it, and maybe because whatever we are doing is just too important, maybe we are convinced that our situation allows us a free pass. And we are all guilty in this. And that’s a good place to start trying to be better Christ followers, in out driving. I know that sounds a bit goofy, but if we are to present ourselves as followers of a Saviour who forgave from the cross in death, why do we not have that same mindset behind the wheel?
My though here is that if we did the ordinary life tasks like driving, working, raising children, waiting in line, dealing with difficult people and the like as though Jesus was standing beside us, and He is, if we lived that way, the number of laws would be less important than the state of our hearts. We would live within the framework of most of our worldly rules and regulations if we could set our hearts on being more Christlike in everything. Jesus wanted our hearts to be renewed and set on higher things than the driver or whatever else we let take our attention. That should be the first thought every morning, to start the day with a renewed heart and make it a priority to keep that thought process in everything that we do all day, regardless of the circumstances.
So it’s no strange thing that my message at the jail this last week has been on slavery to sin and the law. I am aware that I was born with a sinful heart and it enslaves me, and I am aware that I am a slave to the law, but I’m also aware that Jesus gives me freedom from these things. I will always be tempted but always absolutely sure that I am not alone with my anger, my aggression, my judgements and my fears, but together with my Savior Christ Jesus. So if tomorrow when it’s dark and raining and you see me behind that car with no lights on save for the cellphone glow and no turn signals running the stop sign, look closely and see if I have my hand on the Bible on my dash, cause that’s when I’m praying for their safe travels, I’m free to do that.
~ Scott Boatner