As I was driving to church yesterday I glanced in my rear-view mirror (I do that occasionally to see what mayhem I have caused) and noticed that the man behind me was busy eating a doughnut as he drove along. His insurance claim form would have been interesting if he had crashed.
This morning I saw someone in a car next to mine who was, erm, exploring his nasal cavities with a finger.
Sadly I often still see people talking on their mobile phones while driving.
It made me wonder whether, because we are isolated from the rest of the world inside our car, we subconsciously feel that nobody can see us. We feel safe. Cocooned. Cossetted. Comfortable.
I wonder if we are like that in our churches too. I don’t mean doughnut-eating, nose-gardening or phone calls… although doughnuts may be involved in cafe-style services… but because we feel safe, cocooned, cossetted, comfortable, we act as if nobody is able to see us. But they can.
So the fruit of the Spirit appears a bit mouldy if we grumble, complain, gossip and bicker. Jesus’ teaching appears rather lame if we only look after ourselves, ignore the weak and vulnerable and seek revenge or fail to forgive. The gospel seems ineffectual if our lives are too focused on gaining wealth, status and power.
The problem is that we are reliant on God’s grace and his Spirit to renew and transform us. We are ALL works in progress. But people observing us from outside may not realise that. They don’t know the back-story. We need to pray that they are willing to ask or listen.
And… The man with the doughnut may have been diabetic and needed a sugar boost. The man with the finger and nose issues may have been struggling to breath. The people on the phone may have been responding to an emergency (although it’s still illegal).
Be blessed. Be a blessing.
A man in a hurry taking his 8-year-old son to school, made a U-turn at a red light where it was prohibited.
“Uh-oh, I just made an illegal turn!” the man said.
“It’s okay, Dad,” the son said. “The police car right behind us did the same thing.”