Speeding?

I have the privilege of teaching students about patience and focus and diligence and obeying authorities and loving others.... and yet today i almost failed all of them. Not in a classroom, not on a stage. . . but behind the wheel of my car. maybe you think you know where this thought is going. . . but i think there is a small twist in the story that makes it a little different then your average driving story. It was 4:30 close to but not rush hour. there were many cars on the road, and the speed limit was 45 mph and i was headed towards and intersection with a light. I was so excited to be headed home, and i drive this route almost everyday so i admit kinda went into auto pilot. and i was in definitely in 43 mph zone. I try not to speed. i try to obey the rules, after all i teach about obedience. what would it look like if i just speed along and didn't care about the rules and then tried to teach others to obey.

Obedience is a matter of obedience all the time, not just when it was convenient.

Please imagine my shock then when the car behind me has speed up to the back bumper of my car, laid on its horn and the drive is yelling at me and signing 45 to me.as though i am breaking the law by driving less then the speed limit. Last time i checked a speed limit sign was indicating the maximum speed a person could drive on the indicated road. not the minimum.

With in seconds the driver behind me moved to the left lane (that's right i was in the right lane traditionally known as the slow lane) and passed me while honking his horn signing 45 to me with a few other finger signs (i am not sure how they indicated speed limit) and then stepped on his gas pedal and moved at 55 mph.

What amazed me about this entire interaction was that after it was over i was so frustrated. speedy man was gone, i had continued to obey, and i was still headed home. but something in me was so entirely frustrated about being yelled at for doing what is right. I wished that man would get pulled over so that i would have been justified in my obedience by the confirmation of his disobedience.

Yet that isn't how God works.

God clearly states that he will repay. that it is not in my authority to decide how or why or when.

I wonder how many times in a day i speed by others and don't take the time to know that they are trying to obey. How many times do i speed past the hand of God thinking that HE is moving too slow and i have a place to be. How many times is my moment is more important to me then my obedience?

So to the man who speed by me today, and to those who will speed by the hand of God tomorrow... is it really that important to fulfill your plan? What if..... just What if God has something for you in the moment that you are trying so hard to pass through?

child-like

I was hanging out with a group of little children the other day, and watched an interaction between a 5 year old and a 2 year old that made me laugh at the ridiculousness of the moment, and then God spoke directly to my heart about idols and my own ability to lose focus on the blessings of God. Let me start from the beginning. There was a bucket of toys, mostly trucks and cars and toy planes. the 5 year old, lets call him johnny, started playing with them as so the 2 year old, lets call him sami,  wanted to play as well. now it would be great to say that they both picked trucks and cars and played happily but were are talking about humans with a sin nature born into them . . . Johnny has his toys and Sami reaches in the bucket and of course picks what quickly becomes the only truck Johnny wanted: "But that is my favorite truck, that is the truck i always want to play with, that is MY truck" now i really wanted to stop the conversation here and reply with; "if this was your favorite truck why did you now pick it out of the bucket when you took your other 5 trucks?" but knowing that reasoning with a 5 year old is a bit pointless i let the situation play out before me.

Sami was as happy as could be with his array of trucks and cars that was before him, but Johnny, while he had the an entire bucket of cars, and the cars he had selected before Sami even arrived to play, he couldn't get his focus off the that one truck.  Johnny even started to manipulate the truck out of Sami's possession. "Sami, look at how many trucks i have! if you gave me that one truck then i would give you all these and you could have more." "I have the best truck and an airplane Sami do you want an airplane?" "i would give you this plane if you for that old truck"

It seemed as though Johnny couldn't enjoy himself or find anything to play with because he was so focused on getting the one thing he wanted? that truck that he didn't want till someone else had it...He spent his entire play time trying to scheme and plan a way to get back what was never his, growing in frustration and anger until he put all his other cars in the bucket and walked away.

I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of this moment. no sooner did i laugh to myself and thank God that i am no longer 5 did God response by reminding me that i am more like a 5 yr old then i would like to admit. "Jeniffer-- don't you get your mind so fixed on your desires that you miss the blessings i have for you?"

It was embarrassing . . . actually . . . humbling. I so wanted to believe that i was so far beyond being 5 and wanting what i can't have because i can't have it. but i am not. instead of enjoying all the blessings i have around me (from people, to things, to time, to resources) i get focused on that thing i want... somedays it is a husband, some days it is an ipad, somedays it is a family, some days, it is a couch, somedays it is a social circle, you name it at some point i have wanted it....and i have wanted it more than what i have. which makes "it" an idol; a thing that is neither good nor bad but has been desired with more passion then my desire for God.

it is as that point, the moment i can no longer see the incrediable outpouring of God's blessings in my life, that i have lost focus. That i am choosing to place what i don't have over what i have been freely given. My heart is so focused on what i think i need or desire that i am choosing to live in a place of brokenness when wholeness and abundance of joy is mine.

a heart's life from death

I enjoy traveling for many reasons, one being the people i meet in the airport, on the plane, in taxis, at starbucks, at events, the more random the location the more interesting a person i meet. I enjoy meeting new people and finding out we have something in common... and not the typical "oh yes i liked that book" or "we are both headed to the same spot" more random like "so i was in a movie that was filmed about your hometown" or "i have been to that town to ride the steepest vehicular incline".  but what i truly enjoy about meeting people is what they teach me. I sat with a man on an airplane this week whose father recently had a heart transplant. this to me is amazing (not that i sat next to him but the transplant). This gentleman told me that his father is living as a much younger man now that he has been given a new heart and that he can see a difference in the "life" this new heart brings him compared to the broken old heart. Now living with this strong heart he can see how weak his old heart really was.

To think that God created our bodies in such away that we can replace the old broken parts with new ("the old has gone the new has come" has such a bigger meaning) and that our bodies work with this new part. Then i thought about the details of a heart transplant. . . all the nerves that needed to be connected just right and the vessels that need to match. the details that are important to this astound me. but there is a thought that is even more mind blowing to me then the details of placing the heart in a new body... in order to have that heart for the new body someone had to give his life so that the heart would be available. A person had to choose to give his very body to people he didn't know upon his death so they may have life. but my thoughts on not on the choice to give (though i strongly support organ donation and believe we should all do it, because really why do we need to keep our organs after we die)

my thought is more on the life that is granted... how must it change how you live to know that your life is a gift of someone who died to grant it to you. i know they didn't lay down and die at your feet so they could give you their life, but most likely they were not expecting to die on the day they did. and the truth still remains you have a heart (or other organ) because the donors is dead.

your life is from their death.

if this was a reality for you, would you live in a way that is worthy of that person's death? would you cherish life knowing that you were given a second chance?  the thought: " i am alive and well because someone choose to give me life" would roll around in my head daily.

as i pondered these questions over the last few days i was drawn to one answer. . . I have life everyday because of the death of one man and one God who choose to sacrifice his physical body on a cross that he may restore my brokenness and great me life in the midst of sin and death. Why then do i live as though this life is my own? why do i live as though i am still broken? Why am i hesitant to grab the victory that Christ has granted me?