Driving down to Florida these past two days, I have been stretched waaaaay out of my comfort zone. Let me bring you up to speed a little. I’m the passenger. On trips, I’m the snack distributor, Facebook surfer, blog writer, picture taker, napping sidekick. Gary is the driver. Not me. Not because I can’t drive. I just don’t like to if I have someone else capable with me.
This time has been totally different. I’ve been following a big yellow Penske truck for the past 750 miles. An eleven hour trip quickly became almost a sixteen hour trip after stopping every..single..hour for bathroom breaks. I don’t want to drive anywhere for a month. And a half. See, I’m not really the aggressive driver type. I’m the “Oh hi there.. I uh.. Really need to get over.. There.. Yeah.. Can I squeeze in there?”
Oh honey, not this time. I was aggressive. And extremely attentive. Gary had our GPS in the moving truck so I had to stay close with him. He knew our destination and how to get there. I didn’t have a clue whether we were going north bound or south bound. Well, Florida is definitely south. But I’m just that bad with directions. I probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive by myself in an unfamiliar place.
We were in rush hour traffic in Charlotte, NC and I was thinking to myself, I’m going to have to be a jerk. Yep. A jerk. Nobody is going to get in between that truck and me. I don’t have a clue where I’m going. If we get separated, I’m screwed. I was almost panicky thinking about it. So I determined I would do whatever it took to stay with him. Cars would get close near an exit ramp and I’m like, no way. You’re not getting in here. You’ll have to go behind me or go around us.
Shouldn’t we be that quick to guard our relationship with God? There are things that come knocking that we need to look out the peep hole, lock the dead bolt, and walk away. Don’t entertain it. Some things are obvious. Other things try to disguise themselves as cable guys and plumbers trying to get in, but they’re beyond sketchy. If you aren’t sure if it’s a red flag, chances are, it’s probably a flag.
Sometimes it comes dressed as a good looking, smooth talking guy sitting next to you in Algebra 2. It may be a job opportunity you’ve been hoping for, but something doesn’t add up. It could be a friendship with someone who doesn’t believe the same way you do and tries to get you to come to their side of the fence. Maybe it’s a commitment that seems totally innocent, but will have you over involved in too many areas. Or extracurricular activities that will have you warming a bleacher on a Sunday morning or Wednesday night.
We need to be extremely cautious of anyone or anything that tries to come between us and God. It’s so easy to get weary and ease off the gas enough for something to creep in the gap and try to establish residence. Red flag, red flag, big giant red flag! We need to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit and keep our eyes focused on Him that the moment we see His brake lights, we slow down. If He accelerates, we press down on the gas. If He changes lanes, we need to put our blinkers on. If He stops at a rest area for a Twinkie and a potty break, you better get your quarters out and hop in the exit lane.
Don’t be afraid to defend your ground. It’s sacred. It’s a safe haven. An oasis. A cool drink of water on a hot summer day. Anyone who tries to invade that space is out of line. They’re on a sniper’s mission straight from the enemy and you better watch out.
Be an extreme tailgater. Follow God and pursue Him with such passion that you’re right on His bumper. I got so close at one point to Gary that I could barely see his rear tires. We were creeping down the interstate and I didn’t want to chance someone trying to cut in between us. My mind was focused on the back of the big yellow truck for sixteen hours.
One thing I noticed was that it was hard to focus on the things zooming past me when I kept my eyes on the one who knew where we were going. There were a ton of other cars going the same direction. We passed several Penske trucks on the way. I could’ve easily gotten confused and accidentally followed them and gotten lost headed the wrong direction. But my eyes were fixed on the truck with the Indiana license plate 2099308.
When it poured rain, I sat straight up and tightened my grip on the steering wheel and prayed. But one thing was for sure, I wasn’t going to let anyone, anything, or any circumstance separate us. The one time a car managed to merge in, I was on a mission to get back to following right in behind him. You may be stretched beyond your comfort zone, but know He’s right in front of you and He has you in His rear view mirror. He won’t leave you. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous; Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”
Maybe you’ve allowed some things to creep in the space between you and God. Or maybe you’ve gotten so far behind, you cant even see Him anymore. It’s not a lost cause. You are never so far gone that you’re beyond His reach. I promise you, His hand will always reach you exactly where you are. He knows exactly how many car lengths away you are. And He’s calling you. Come. I accept you. I love you. Follow me. Do not be afraid. My yoke is easy. The burden I give you is light. Matthew 11:30.
Be on guard for things that try to sneak in. The wolves in sheep’s clothing are hard to spot sometimes, but when you realize who or what they are, don’t be afraid to cut them off. Walk away. Pray that God will help you discern the difference in a God-thing and something that’s meant to fool you or destroy you. I’m praying for you.
Living Life Unscripted,