Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When the fog lifts

I didn't have a driver's license until I was 27 years old. For a wide variety of reasons, I just never had/needed one. I always lived close enough to everything that I could walk to get to, and for anything beyond that I'd just take the bus, or get a ride from a friend or family member. When I was 27 we were living in the southern California desert, and the closest store was 11 miles down the highway, so it was finally time for me to get a license. I learned how to drive by practicing out in the middle of the desert, then braving the southern California highways to go to the store and back. I think I passed basic driver's training pretty well.

In all the time in my young adulthood before I was a driver myself, I had plenty of nut-ball friends who were reckless drivers, and even though I never really did it on purpose, I think I kept mental notes that said "don't do this" each time one of my goofball friends did something careless while driving. For that cause, when I started driving myself, I quickly became known as an uber-careful driver. I've been teased about it for years, but I'd rather be teased than be a meat-head behind the wheel.

That thought about becoming a driver quickly flitted through my thoughts last night as I drove the girls home from their weekly girl's club meeting at the church. The drive into town was fine, the roads were bare and dry and it was still light outside, thanks to daylight savings time. The drive home however, 90 minutes later, was a different story. The sun had gone down, and fog worthy of a classic horror novel, had rolled in. I had no idea what I was in for, once I got out of town and onto the country highway, to get home. Suffice it to say, I went much less than the speed limit all the way home, while white-knuckling it, and riding the yellow line.

What really surprised me numerous times, is that cars behind me pulled out and passed me, to disappear into the fog ahead of me. I couldn't see a thing beyond a few feet from the front of the van, but somehow these people either had astounding vision, or were just overly confident that they'd be just fine plowing through the blinding fog.

Now, while I don't sit around all day looking for spiritual applications in everyday occurances, it was really hard not to notice this one. Here were these people just forging ahead, as blinded as if they had blindfolds on, but confident that they could see just fine. The unsaved live this way every single day. They get up & go to work or school, go about the business of their day, engage in relationships, make long and short term plans, and just live life completely blinded to what's coming. Like the drivers on the highway tonight that couldn't help but notice someone driving differently, these people live life fully aware that there are Christians around them that live differently. Just like the drivers on the highway, they just pull out ahead of those Christians or pass them by and ignore them.

Where my little analogy falls apart, is that thankfully there was nothing in the fog tonight that anyone crashed into (although 2 weeks ago on that very same highway, we slowed down to admire the herd of deer that were about to cross - imagine bumping into 6 full grown deer on a foggy night, going 60mph down that highway). In life however, there is most definitely coming a day when these people who ignored the Christian message, ignored all the Christians in their lives, and just kept "driving", will answer for it. There will come a day when the fog lifts and they will stand before a holy God and have no excuse. This grieves me so much. If you're anything like me, you have friends, aquaintances and family members who are just like those drivers on the foggy highway that keep on going, and ignore you when you try to talk to them about the life coming after this one. They know you're "driving" differently, and they know why, but your way of life is definitely not what they want for their way of life. They want to do things their own way, believe their own things, and be left alone, thank you very much. The reality of the life to come after this one, is something that these people cannot see, and don't want to see.

This is why sharing the gospel at every opportunity is so important. It may not be easy, and it may not result in immediate conversion, but the great news is that our Lord Jesus said that all that the Father give to Him, will come to Him and He will lose nothing! Maybe you've shared the gospel with someone for years, with no visible result. Maybe someone else will come along tomorrow (or next week or next year) and share it with them again, and they'll think about all the conversations they've had with you, and that will be the moment in time that the preaching of the cross will be the power of God unto salvation, in their lives. We hear testimonies like this all the time, so we know it happens just like this, in many Christian's lives.

Don't be weary in well doing, keep giving an answer for your faith to all who ask, and take comfort in the truth that even though it seems like so many are blindly driving through the fog, our heavenly Father will draw His own to the foot of the cross, giving them new eyes to see with, new ears to hear with, and removing their heart of stone replacing it with a heart of flesh.

Just like He did with you.