I was driving to work the other day – I drive 70 miles one way – and I noted a milestone on my speedometer. It rolled to 130,000 miles. Seven thousand miles since November. I’ve gotten good at the drive. God has taught me patience. Over and over. After four months of driving through small East Texas towns on my way to Tyler, I call them “worship miles.” That’s how I get through the frustrations of the commute. I make it my time with God. My time to worship him and let him speak to me through the music.
Well, I took a picture of that 130,000 mile rollover – safely from a parking lot – and posted it to Facebook, of course. But on my way, again, Satan sure tested all the things I’d learned about patience and showing Christ to others. I started to get annoyed at the slow drivers ahead of me on a two-lane no passing zone and the fast drivers behind me riding my bumper. I yelled aloud to myself, “I just want to drive 60!!!” That’s the speed limit most of the way until you get into the towns and have to remember to slow down to 55, then 50, then 45, then 35 and remember when it’s 60 and when its 70 so you don’t get pulled over….again! Apparently “I was worshipping God” does not get you out of a ticket for going 70 in the 55. Then there’s the bipolar gas station at the edge of one town whose gas price changes will give you whiplash. It’s $3.15 one morning, $3.09 that afternoon, and $3.29 the very next morning. What is up with that?????
Well, my plea to just be able to go the speed limit got me thinking about what speed God wants me to go. He certainly doesn’t want me to speed and get another ticket. He also doesn’t want me to ride someone’s bumper, impatiently nudging them to get out of the way. But, does he want me to “just go the speed limit” in my spiritual life?
I don’t think so.
I think there are times of urgency when he wants me speed down the road and make a difference for the kingdom. Shift into high gear and race down the open road. He tells us in Hebrews 12:1-2 to run with endurance.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.…”
He also wants me to slow down sometimes to notice the people around me. To really see the ones he loves who are hurting. He wants me to see them how he sees them, whether they are driving 40 in a 60 or tapping my tailgate to get around me in order to drive 80 in the same 60 mph stretch of highway.
What has their day been like? What are they going through? What are they racing toward or slowly dreading?
If I just see them as I see them, as one of my commuter frustrations, how can I be a blessing or show Christ to them? Am I worshipping God at the same time I’m shaking my fist at their driving habits? If I am, I fear I am just going through the motions of the Christian life, letting the world crowd in instead applying His word to my everyday circumstances. I want them to be able to unmistakenly see Christ in me…to live in such a way that they will come to know Christ in a personal way. I want to shine his light brighter than my high beams on that narrow stretch of tree-lined country road that leads me home.
Lord, I pray that you will be my GPS, my cruise control, my speedometer and that you would post angels on my gas pedal. I pray that my actions match the Jesus fish on my car and speak your Word to my fellow commuters along life’s highway.