I have never been known as an aggressive driver. Actually, I’m just the opposite. What even is the opposite of aggressive? (I just now looked it up……I’m meek and friendly?) Yeah, that’s me! A meek and friendly driver! (Mousy was also thrown into that antonym, but I choose to ignore that!)
I have never had a speeding ticket and my only two encounters with Police Officers have been the following:
- Back in the day, I had gone to Carson Newman to see our daughter. I was SO EXCITED to see her and get caught up on all her new college goings-ons! We had driven a back road to the Jefferson City Walmart and that road came out onto Hwy 11E at a red light. I’ve always loved a red light. They sorta give you a chance to regroup….. to catch your breath, a mini-hiatus in a sense. And on this particular day, it was an opportunity to just chat it up big with Jennifer! I mean, good grief, I had been on a parental famine, with her away at college, so I had a lot of territory to cover. I had no idea how long I’d been there…. the light was still red. I am a very conscientious, “friendly” driver, I was keeping my eye on it! But suddenly I practically jumped outta my skin! A Police Officer was KNOCKING ON MY WINDOW!!! Where in the world had HE come from! I was so shocked! Well, as it turned out (as I observed, looking in my rear-view mirror), he had walked up from about 4 or 5 cars back. And he said to me, “Ma’am, if you don’t move up closer, that light is never going to turn green.” “Oh…. I hadn’t noticed.” And perhaps you wonder why nobody honked….. well, I’m just assuming that either Jefferson City is filled with “meek and friendly” drivers, or they were all mothers taking their college students to Walmart, and they too welcomed the mini-hiatus! …..OR, who is going to risk HONKING when there’s a Police Officer within their long line of cars!
- My second encounter….. Move ahead several years, and I was driving by myself to see Jennifer and her precious little family in Charlotte. I had a new grandson… our first! When I got to Boone, I decided I needed to potty (when you’re a GrandMoomie, that’s proper verbiage) and treat myself to a cup of black, steamy coffee. Oh good…. there was a parking place right on the street, in front of Jimmy John’s and it was adjacent to a loading zone…. thus parallel parking would be a breeze. But I was cautious…. or was I meek? Anyway, I didn’t want to get too close to the car behind me, because I might get cornered in there at Jimmy John’s if a delivery truck should happen to come deliver something! A “meek and friendly” driver is always thinking about these possible situations. Well, as soon as I parked, Jennifer happened to call! Oh joy! So I just reared back to enjoy the moment. I don’t know how long we talked, but I practically jumped outta my skin when a Police Officer KNOCKED ON MY WINDOW!!! What? Again? There’s no red light! I learned my lesson! I couldn’t even imagine what this Officer wanted. Maybe he just recognized that I was a “friendly” driver and he wanted to say hello? Nah. As it turns out….. in driving, one can either NOT move up far enough (i.e. Jefferson City red light) OR one can move up too far…. which is what I had evidently done in Boone. My front wheel had encroached upon the line of the loading zone. This officer was writing me a ticket? I explained to him that I was going to see my daughter and I was a new GrandMoomie and I had only stopped to go potty and get a cup of coffee, but I could leave. I could leave right now. I didn’t need coffee. He said… “I’m not writing you a ticket. It’s a WARNING.”
A warning?? Well, let me just say that a “meek and friendly” driver takes “warnings” very seriously. I still carry this “warning” with me. I keep it in the front of my Bible. Why?… you might ask? Well, it reminds me of God’s warnings. His Word is filled with them and I need to be reminded.
The word “WARN” is actually a very beautiful word. It’s a kindness, if you will…..
warn |wôrn| (verb) inform someone in advance of an impending or possible danger, problem, or other unpleasant situation: give someone forceful or cautionary advice about their actions or conduct:
It’s opposite is actually quite unloving. By golly, if there’s something to be KNOWN about any impending danger, or problem, or unpleasant situation…… would you not want to know? Would you not want to be told?
I’ve noticed that occasionally on FaceBook people will share warnings…… everything from recalled strollers to potential perpetrators at Target’s parking lot. We’re warned of scams, we’re warned of storms, we’re warned of warnings! Ever hear of Snopes? I check it all the time, just to see if what I’ve heard is true! And sometimes it isn’t. Often it isn’t. And perhaps that’s part of our problem…. we have gotten desensitized to the warning. We’ve gotten amped up, nervous, anxious.…… and Y2K was nothing!
But ya know….. God’s Word doesn’t fall within any of these categories. If ever we were to have a teachable spirit….. ahhhh, let it fall within the realm of belief that what God has said IS TRUE.
Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?
Hebrews 6:18 So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
So what do we do with all this? As I was pondering the question, I was wanting to go to the Word and find some examples of God’s warnings. I kid you not…. when I went to my Bible app where I read the Word on my phone, THIS was the screen that came up! James…. WARNING against Worldliness…..
God fascinates me! Absolutely FASCINATES me! He wants to be discovered! He wants to WOW us! So I leave you with this…..
- Read HIM…….. His Word is Truth
- Believe HIM……He doesn’t lie
- Be warned……. It’s one of the most loving things He could’ve done for us! What a gift!
And James is as good a place as any to begin reading! It’s such a practical book…. a book where we’re told in 4:8 “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…” It’s true! It’s a promise. You can believe it! But then there’s the warning of 4:4 where He tells us that friendship with the world is enmity with Him! And then we get the warning….. “Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Promises and Warnings. Warnings and Promises…… How kind and loving is our God to not just “write us a warning”, but ALSO He’s written us promise upon beautiful PROMISE!
And so I challenge you….. get in the Word! And as you read, look for His promises. Delight in them! Rejoice in them! But look, too, for His warnings! They’re for our good! And we can believe them both! And should.