This past weekend, I rode my motorcycle from Montana into British Columbia and over to Alberta for a wedding in Calgary. It’s a great time of year for a ride like that. Still, the bike isn’t perfect, but got me there and back. The battery was failing and in need of the occasional “boost”. I pulled up at the border checkpoint re-entering the US and left it running even though it’s a little loud.
“Are you going to shut that thing off or what?” the official asked me.
“I sure can, but it won’t start again. I can drive it over there and walk back so we can talk if you like.”
“No, no. It’s fine. Leave it on.” She said with irritation in her voice.
She asked the usual questions making me nervous even though I had no reason to be.
“Is that all you have with you?”
I get that one a lot and traveling light has caused problems for me on more than one occasion. One time I was detained and interrogated for over 2 hrs leaving Israel for that reason.
“You’ve been out of the US for over 8 months and that’s all you have with you?”
“Ok, follow me.”
You never know what answer they want. I guess the truth is the best thing to go with. If you are inside of what people normally do, you’ll be ok most of the time. Nonetheless, it got me thinking about the truth, about telling it, and about hearing it.
I believe in a God who speaks to his people and will guide them if they are open to it. I rely on hearing and obeying his voice. He definitely speaks through his word, but sometimes he speaks through people and sometimes common sense is a good guide. Usually it’s good to avoid extremes, at least for someone like me. Some activities impede judgement and others sharpen it. The word tells us not to “lean on our own understanding” but to acknowledge God in all our ways and trust him to make our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Seems simple enough.
Last night I watched a couple of short documentaries. One was about prisons in Russia, (I’m leading a team to Russia later this year) the other was about the devastatingly destructive, drug, Crystal Methamphetamine. There was a high school couple who did some of the drug, left the party they were at, and drove out into a winter night in Iowa only to get their truck stuck in the snow. They made repeated 911 calls telling police where they were, but being so impaired, they couldn’t give comprehensible directions. They left the heated truck and walked for miles along a road where they finally took shelter in a shack without heat, making more 911 calls talking about animals and people being there, but not answering their cries for help. Eventually, they separated from each other and froze to death miles apart, alone in the snow because their hallucinations were so real and deceiving, they couldn’t make sense of reality. The influence of the drug was so long lasting, they made one horrible choice after another eventually leading to both of their deaths.
What a waste. If the couple had just sat in the truck and waited, they would have been found at daybreak and rescued. They had gas, a heated vehicle, and charged cell phones. They lacked nothing except a grip on reality.
That’s an extreme example, but it happened. Sometimes our perception of reality is inaccurate. God’s is not. Sitting still and waiting on God can be the hardest thing. Just moving in any direction seems better than waiting…
Obviously, this is not always the case.
My brother, Hans, and I talked for a while yesterday about hearing God and he later texted me these verses.
“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
The recipe for peace: pray, be thankful, trust God, and keep a pure heart.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”