"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Keeping both hands on the wheel

I freely admit that I’m not the world’s best driver. I do manage to stop at all the stop signs, traffic lights, wear my seat belt, and give gap/take gap on the McDonough Square; it’s just that my tendency to multi-task during driving sometimes leads to problems. For example, this past weekend, I was driving through town on the way to eat lunch and was trying to get a pair of sunglasses on, while taking off another pair, get the radio on the right CD, and taking a sip from my glass of tea. No problem, my knees were on the steering wheel and my eyes were sorta on the road. My driving companion was screeching most of the time about keeping hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, etc., until I could get to a place to stop and get everything done. Finally, the statement came flying out of their mouth that it’s no good to have your eyes on the road if your hands aren’t on the wheel.

That made me stop and think for a bit. Not about the driving concept, but about the living concept.

God gives us a road map of how we should live. It’s called the Bible. In it are the instructions given to us by God through men and women of faith in the form of parables, law and commandments, letters of encouragement and instruction, and the descriptions of our final destination. Many people will complain that it is hard to read and understand this book: however, most road maps are also difficult to read and see the clearest path and straightest route to your goal. Other people will say they don’t believe the book; yet from what I’ve experienced, it is also hard to trust many GPS units and maps that are too simplified for the area. And, as an adult male, there are times I think I can ignore the guidance of the Bible, just as I feel I can sometimes ignore a road map. When this happens, I always end up lost, frustrated, and in a mess. I don’t mean to be flippant or off-hand about the importance of the Bible, because it is the Word of God, yet I feel that it can be used as simply as a road map to guide our way.

I’ve been a believer most of my life and have tried to use the Bible as my guide to daily living. Yet, there have been times when I have taken my eyes off the road ahead and tried to go my way with only my hands on the wheel. Or, with only one hand. Or, maybe neither hand, and steer with my knees. At any rate, my ability to function was seriously compromised. In the Bible, God asks us to believe in Him and in His plan for our life. If we do this, we will learn about His Love and how to love others. If we do this, then we will begin to treat others with love and respect, putting aside the lies and manipulations and hypocrisies that seem to run rampant in our culture.

I take a great chance of harming myself and others on the road every time that I do not put 100 percent into my driving. It takes keeping my eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel. We all take a great chance when we don’t keep our eyes on God…and our hands (and feet) on doing what He asks and going where he wants us to go. If the Bible isn’t a part of your daily pattern, try starting out by reading a chapter a day, or at least once a week. Begin with the book of John, then Philippians. You can also read a Psalm a day. Start a new year with a new map for your life and keep your eyes on God.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


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