I was driving home one night this week when I saw in the distance a slow moving van with its hazard lights flashing. I thought it was just my luck to be stuck there with no way to get past and felt a bit annoyed. A few moments later as the van turned, I could see ahead of it, also with flashing lights was a hearse. My attitude changed immediately, and I chided myself and said a prayer for the family and loved ones who were following the hearse in a slow and respectful way, plus showing courtesy to me by having their hazard lights on as a warning. Sometimes we jump to conclusions and make assumptions without a full knowledge of the circumstances. I think as many people today look towards Jesus it is like seeing the back of a van, without seeing the full picture. Perhaps they simply see a man, a peasant, an itinerant carpenter who had some pithy sayings, but fail to see the big picture of who he is.
I recently watched the movie Apollo 13. Despite the wonder of the technological feat of sending people to the moon, by the fifth moon mission people were no longer in awe and none of the major TV networks broadcast the live pictures of the astronauts in space. Part of our human fickleness is that we are hard to impress and things that once filled us with wonder soon become all too familiar and the wonder fades.
Some of our church members might have seen or heard about the trees in the Red Wood National and State Park in California, USA. They are huge, and one of the tallest trees in the park. Some trees have big tunnels, through which two cars are able to pass. Twenty adults could surround a tree with hand-in-hands. After many scholars had researched how those trees could have survived for so long a time, they discovered that the roots of the group of trees were connected and were dependent on each other. This could be the reason that they have survived in spite of heavy winds and wildfires. In addition, the researchers also found that the trees, which were not connected with the group, died. This unity among the trees could be applied to our church. To survive in this world, our church members must unite in Christ.
A couple of times lately there have been police officers on our road checking drivers’ licenses. The license is our permit, our authority to drive a motor vehicle. In a sense they are questioning our authority to drive and if we can’t produce our licence there are consequences. How do you respond when your authority to drive, to work or to be in certain places is challenged? Are you likely to be defensive, deflect the question, go on the offensive or plead ignorance?
Why, when you are longing for something time drags and when you are really enjoying something time flies by? We know the refrain of children longing to be at the beach, but stuck in traffic in the car – Are we there yet? How much longer? As Christians go through troubles, we ask similar questions and in the Psalms we find the refrain, How long?