Thankful to Be Alive

I’m guessing that if you’ve driven a motorized vehicle for any amount of time that you’ve experienced someone who crossed over the line and was coming directly at you.  And it’s also possible, that you have been the person who drifted into the lane of oncoming traffic.  Well, a few days ago I was travelling and all of a sudden I noticed that the oncoming car had drifted into my lane and was coming right at me.  At first, my response was one of joy.  I was so happy that the person in the oncoming car was enjoying the freedom of using the whole road.  But then my joy began to fade as the car came closer for fear of what might happen if the person hit me head on.  Thankfully, as I began to think about what I was going to do, the approaching driver moved back into his lane.
As I reflected on this potentially deadly situation, I thought about our experience in Haiti where there are no yellow or white road markings.  Every trip to and from the mission was an adventure; not only were there no markings on the road, there were no speed limit signs, there were no “no passing” zones, there were no yield signs, every driver did as they pleased.  Often times cars following our bus would begin to pass when there was oncoming traffic and the oncoming car would just move over and we would meet three wide.  I was amazed at the number of times we almost collided with other cars, but the more I thought about it, the more I wished we didn’t have road markings and signs in America.  I mean just imagine how much fun you would have driving if you could do whatever you pleased whenever you pleased.  Imagine the new level of freedom you felt as you were driving.  Imagine the fun of driving in the left lane when you got bored with driving in the right lane.  Imagine the freedom of choosing your own speed limits.  So what do you think, do we really need those traffic boundaries?
Well, you say, of course we need those road markers, the result of not having boundaries would only create chaos and fear, not freedom.  And so it is with our lives; although many people in America would say that freedom is found in doing whatever makes them feel good, the truth is that our Creator has established certain boundaries that enable our freedom.  Freedom is not found in living a deceptive life.  Freedom is not found in creating your own business ethics.  Freedom is not found in sleeping with whoever you want.  Freedom is not found in choosing how much of your taxes you’re going to pay.  No, freedom is only found when we live within the boundary of God’s commands.
In fact one of my favorite passages of scripture is found in Psalm 119:29-32, “Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.  I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.  I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord; do not let me be put to shame.  I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”
So, could it be that there might be an area in your life where you think you’re enjoying freedom, and yet if the truth were known, it’s only full of anxiety, fear and confusion?  If so, what better day than today to repent and get back in the center of God’s will.  May you and I always be a “Jesus sorts of follower” who experiences the freedom of running within the paths of God’s commands.
Thankful to be alive,          Mike

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