Two years ago I wrote this entry, and today I came to understand what I call the “new reality”.
It all started at 6 am Wednesday morning October 22nd 2008. I had prepared for another day of work via the long commute into town (some things don’t change). This time the engine sputtered a bit and I thought it was strange so I looked at the other guages and noticed the engine temperature was at 3/4 (which never happens on this 1992 Honda Accord). I immediately pulled over to the side of the road and turned off the car to allow for the engine to cool off. What now? It’s totally dark, cold and you have a lot of things to do at work today! Since my last breakdown 2 years ago (with a different vehicle) I had prepared to deal with flat tires, low oil, dead battery… but unfortunately not a blown rad hose! Now for years I have not had a cell phone. Why? The only reason I had one before was for the case of emergencies. A good friend of mine convinced me years ago that it was an unnecessary cost because there are many people with cell phones that will help you out if you break down. I believed him and have not had one for many years.
This morning I waited for 45 minutes while hundreds of vehicles passed by my half frozen thumb, pleading for a ride to the closest town. What good is a hundred cell phones if they are driving by you at 90 kph? Finally one warm hearted soul stopped and drove me into Enderby (Thank You Jesus!). This morning I prayed for a safe drive to work and back home, why did I have this breakdown? The Lord could have easily prevented this right? All kinds of intellectual ideas flying around, rationalizing, etc. While it is true that God could have prevented it all, the reality is that He did not. There is a very practical side to God that we often overlook. Firstly He allows what is absolutely best for His children. He expects child like faith likewise.
What spoke to me in this situation was the fact that there is a new reality. In the past we could expect that our “neighbour” would help us out when we needed it. The New reality tells me that this is no longer the situation. We have much fewer “neighbours” in our current point in history and therefore there are additional steps that will help cut the freezing time from 3/4 hour (or more) to much shorter than that. Get that cell phone, get those jumper cables, get that tire iron, get those emergency supplies… it’s ok… really it isn’t a lack of faith in God! It’s a lack of love in the heart of man! God doesn’t force people beyond their will, He typically works with your free choice. Now if “many” (Matthew 24:12) choose to be too busy to help their neighbour than you will need to be prepared for that. The Lord could easily send an angel, or wake up another brother in the Lord or do many different things, but He chose not to this time… this time was a practical applied lesson of “the new reality”.
How many lessons could be learned in this! But the most important lesson I learned, which was very practical was this:
1 John 3:14-18 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Lord make me a neighbour to all!