Sunday, March 3, 2013
The road closed sign should have been the tip off. It was clearly positioned on the center line on the two lane highway and the blowing snow was howling all around the car. With my dad at the wheel I felt comfortable knowing he was in charge....for the most part. Until he drove past the sign and entered the snow covered road. Our trip was on a schedule and to 'lose time' would have been a hassle. We crept along with my dad at the wheel and my mom by his side. I watched from the backseat as it got harder and harder to see. Finally, my dad, I guess in an effort to clear the windshield, rolled down his window. Snow blasted into the backseat and quickly coated his headrest. He immediately rolled up the window and was able to turn around and follow the ruts in the road to get back to where we began. He obviously made a wrong turn when he pressed beyond the road closed sign.
If every decision we made was marked with a street sign, discernment would be so much easier. How great would it be if next time you were faced with a parenting decision if you could imagine your decision and immediately visualize either a red 'stop' light or a green 'go' light. The decisions would be clearly marked on a green path that signified that all of your choices were good ones and every time you veered off, audible signals would warn you to turn back. What a great plan....if we were robots.
I spent five years working at a large insurance company in my late twenties. My office was in a very new building with large open hallways and we had an automated mail machine. Each floor had a mail machine and it followed a magnetic track under the carpet on the floor. It saved lots of payroll dollars by covering miles of territory in a methodical way that required less manpower....except when it got stuck. Under normal circumstances it was well known among employees that we weren't to touch the mail mobile. It could be derailed if anyone got in its way or tried to move it. However, the machine was not without faults and as cool as it was, it didn't have a brain. Frequently you would pass by the robot and it would be beeping, an audible SOS to surrounding administrative assistants that they needed to intervene.
I spend a lot of time talking to my teen girls about their "lines" - the boundaries that they are following both physically and mentally. That's not a topic applicable for teens alone. What are your limits? Do you follow a magnetic path under the carpet only veering from the track until you hit a wall? What is acceptable in your life? Do you allow your kids to watch any movie they ask to see unless it's rated "R" thinking the Motion Picture Association ratings are enough to shield your kids from things they shouldn't see? Are you okay with your husband looking at porn as long as he doesn't take it any further than looking? Is it a big deal that you have to get drunk every weekend to de-stress? What are your lines? If you have no boundaries, nothing in your world beckoning you to turn back and reevaluate your priorities, you will self-destruct.
A car careening into a snow storm with no visibility is headed for destruction. A life lived with no awareness of danger ahead is headed for trouble with multiple casualties. Are you blindly pushing against a Road Closed sign in your life? If so, back up before you are blinded by the jolt of harsh reality or worse, begin to implode. God is waiting.