Only When You Least Expect It...
"So the story goes a little like this. Last night, the misses and I were driving home from church after Good Friday services. As a day of remembrance, Good Friday has always been an occasion where I tend to examine myself on a more deep level in order to come closer to Christ. Well, as many of you might know, our church is located in the "Big City" which is about a 45 minute drive from our humble little town. Leaving church we got onto the narrow, unlit and frightening road that leads from Point A to Point B. Driving home, we were reflecting upon church, having fun by giving names to the small vestibules of civilization that occupied this rather barren and flat land, and figuring out our plans for the upcoming weekend. Focusing on going 65 mph, we were on a great track to get home at a reasonable hour. Things were going great!
But then... blue and red flashes appeared in the rear view mirror followed by a terrible scream that belted from the police cruiser. Instantly, my heart began beating and my mind went into overdrive as it often does when I leave the house on vacation. Did I turn off the lights? Lock the doors? Pack my underwear? Well now the thoughts and questions came much quicker as the shot of adrenaline flowed through by body. Speeding? Following too close? Run a stop sign? My mind couldn't stop with the many possibilities of the things I may have done. But in the midst of all the chaotic rambling that my mind created, I continued to try to justify all possibilities on one belief I tend to hold about myself. That belief is that I generally think of myself as a pretty law-abiding citizen. Now the premise of this law-abidingness can vary. Not always is it to just be doing the right thing but many times it's because I think ‘how much is the wrong thing going to cost me?'
With the thought of righteousness in regard to the law in my mind, I cast out all possibilities of this incident having anything to do with me. So as I'm sitting in the car waiting to hear the words stating the heinous crime I committed I kept evaluating myself and what the deputy's interpretation of what I've done wrong could be. After walking up and giving me a pretty good startle, he took my driver's license and insurance and simply let me know that the light on my license plate was missing and that according to Texas law I needed to get it fixed or I could get a ticket. He told me that there was no need to write a ticket or issue a warning. Sweet!!! Off the hook! Of course, a broken light, located at the rear end of the car, tucked up in the trunk, and is only visible at night. Well to be honest, I don't find myself following my own car at night and even if I did, I bet it would take me some time to even realize the magnitude of importance that is associated with this light.
So the remainder of the car ride home I thought to myself. When exactly was the last time I just inspected my car. Something as easy as a broken license plate light was causing me to break the law. Like a sharp stab I felt my law-abiding pride diminish just a little. Regardless of why the light went out, it was still my responsibility to fix it and rejoin the Good side. A quick trip to Wal-Mart and a 10-minute quick fix and things were back to normal.
But isn't this what life is all about and more importantly, what Jesus died for on the cross? I wanted to believe that I'm a righteous person who follows the rules, but I also know that I am not perfect by any means. I know many of my shortcomings and flaws. But we as humans tend to only examine the defects and flaws that we encounter in our day to day lives. The temptations we struggle with and difficulty that is brought about by fighting the good fight. But we as Christians should never fool ourselves into something we are not, perfection. To grow deeper in our relationship with Christ, we need not just look at the surface level imperfections we've grown accustomed to, but we need to truly search ourselves and seek deep in our heart to find out what area in our lives no matter big or small is keeping you from truly experiencing the joy of our Lord.
Given the chance, take a moment and do a full inspection of your heart, and look at those hard-to-reach, hard-to-see places that you never before knew existed. We all have a spiritual light that has extinguished somewhere and it is our responsibility to find that area of darkness and illuminate it with the one and only Light of the world."