A third phrase from the first couple chapters of 1 Peter that really stands out to me is this: “Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.”
Echoing the thought that we are foreigners on this earth, Peter urges us to live in constant awareness of God being at work. He’s at work now, so what’s He doing? How should I be responding to His working?
Last week, my brother in law and his wife had their first child, Kole Malachi. They only live a few hours away, so we left Thursday night for a visit. On the way home Saturday, we had a little ‘incident’ on the road. Now I know some of you that will read this live in higher traffic places like LA or Denver or Tryon (ok maybe not Tryon) and this may be a commonplace kind of thing, but I’ll have to admit to being pretty shocked at this type of road rage in the land of big skies, wide open spaces, and long stretches of clear highways…
Here’s what happened. As we left one small town, I brought our mini-van up to the speed limit (yes, I specifically checked because I remember my dad getting a huge ticket in this vicinity once for a couple mph too many.) Set the cruise and settled in for the next 10 mile stretch to the next little town. A car well ahead of me put on his blinker and slowed down to turn left – then just kept driving down the road. I quickly caught up to him and slowed down to about 45 mph to stay behind him thinking he’d be turning any moment. I didn’t want to pass him because I didn’t know where he’d be turning, so I thought I’d be polite and stay behind him. Apparently he didn’t think it was as polite as I was.
After what seemed like forever, but was probably about a mile, he was going about 35 on the highway (where the speed limit is 65) and I could tell that the moment we’d all been waiting for had arrived! Behold, a dirt road emerged from the fields on the north to show those who were eastbound the way home. Surely, he was taking this road. Yes, he’s turning! He’s sliding over into the other lane (which is ok, because there’s no oncoming traffic for miles).
As he begins his turn, I move to the right to pass, halfway into the emergency lane of the highway (which the nice state trooper I’ll meet later in the story says is perfectly legal as long as you stay on the pavement and the car you’re passing is indeed turning left). This is where things get ugly. The car in front of me suddenly slams on his brakes and pulls back in front of me (it was a move that has made many NASCAR drivers proud and many other NASCAR drivers boil over with rage). But instead of pushing him out of my way like Busch may do to Biffle, I hit my brakes and passed on the now wide open left. As I did so, I saw much wailing and flailing of arms – instructing me to pull over. I don’t think so!
As my heart catches back up to the beat that kept going when I slammed on the brakes, I check my mirror and find to my dismay that him who had gone before was now coming behind – rapidly! (All joking aside, I was scared he was going to hit us.) He pulled up next to my left side and began waving and pointing and mouthing for me to pull over. There is no way I’m pulling over on this stretch of highway to talk with him! So again, as he tries to cut me off, I do the old crossover and pass him back, to which he again speeds up to my bumper.
To speed this long story up… He reported me to the highway patrol for reckless driving, and about a half hour later I pulled over to explain the aforementioned events to a state trooper. For about the next 20 minutes or so, I gave my side of the story. After asking me if I wanted to press charges against the other guy for reckless driving (a process for which I have neither taste nor time), he said he had to go talk with said ‘other guy’ and get his version and proceed from there. Last night he called and told me that the guy said I was lying, but that no charges were being filed. It’s done….
But, before being relieved at this conclusion I had spoken with my mother in law and told her of our adventure. She seemed a little apprehensive to say so, but told me that during their Saturday night service, she had felt the need to pray specifically for us as we traveled. Not just the generic ‘traveling mercies’ kind of thing, but really an urgent sense that we needed to be prayed for right now. (Just in case you didn’t connect the dots, this was happening to her at the same time the ‘incident’ was happening to us.)
You can chalk it up to whatever you want, but I’m glad my wife’s mom lives “with a deep consciousness of God.”
Are you conscious?