living out what we say we should do

My commute to work yesterday morning began with thoughts of excitement concerning the upcoming weekend. Much needed rest. Getting a few chores done. Ministry and worship with the kids. And then on I-84 in Portland, a dangerous five mile stretch of road with three lanes, 55 mph-70 mph speeds, and little room to maneuver, another driver almost side-swiped my vehicle by crossing too many lanes at too high of a speed. I was able to get past her, but I was a bit rattled. I began to relax when I remembered that Friday should be a pretty peaceful day of warehouse work and catching up on basic warehouse chores. But it was not to be. At about 9:45 am I received word that I was needed to drive truck throughout the city. My heart fell a bit, but I manned up and went for it. Because of a late start, heavy traffic, and many stops, it turned into a very long day with terrible drivers talking on their cell phones and not paying attention to the road, a major traffic jam due to an accident (one wonders if it was caused by someone on their cell, or doing makeup, or eating greasy fried chicken, or some such), and all kinds of other frustrations related to the job.

It is part of life, this business of frustrated expectations. We hope for the ideal, and when that does not happen we try to adjust, only to realize that even our lowered expectations are sometimes frustrated. But deal with it, we must, and we do. I finished my day late in the evening, near closing. And even then I had to scramble to do a few unexpected  tasks at the last minute.

Finally, I drove home, wary of other drivers, but anxious just to get off the road. During my drive I got out my cell phone and called the one person I knew would have something positive to say. I called my mom and had a lovely brief conversation with her. Always uplifting, she did not disappoint. She told me she loves me and that I am a special person. Wow. That means a lot coming from someone of her caliber. I hung up with a smile on my face. And while I was careful to watch the road during that conversation, the irony of my attitude toward cell users was not lost on me. Sort of a do-as-I-say, but not-as-I-do attitude. Yes, I normally use a hands-free set, but I did not have mine with me at the time. But that is not the point, much as I would like to soften the blow of my own hypocrisy. It doesn’t change the fact that driving while talking on a handheld device is dangerous; it is. It just means I need to do a better job of living out what I advocate.

I wonder if this principle could be applied to another other arena of life? Discipleship? Family life? Leading children’s ministries? Relating to the culture? What do you think?


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