Tuesday, April 5: Exodus 20- Guardrails, dividers and lane markings.

I have driven on some pretty treacherous roads in my life. Narrow, winding, curving, steep mountain roads, with switchbacks and murderous drop-offs on the edge. I never once disliked a guardrail protecting me from the drop off.

I have driven 1000s upon 1000s of highway miles, too. I have driven them in metro areas and in the flat open country of the US west. I have even driven highways internationally. Particularly in busy areas I have never thought ill of center dividers that separate the lanes of on-coming traffic. In fact, overseas there are times I have wished for them. I get nervous when the car I am in is driving 120kph or more on winding highways without passing lanes.  You crest a dip and there is an oncoming car in your lane passing someone or simply driving in the middle of the roadway. As I swerve to save my life, I have wished for center dividers.

Even lane markers are a given. Driving home from an airport early one morning, the fog was so thick I crept along at maybe 15mph on a highway hugging the reflective lane markers because I could barely see 5 maybe 10 feet in front of my car. Without those lane markers I would have had no bearings at all. And in Lagos, Nigeria, I longed for lane markers and people who would have obeyed them. Rush hour hit as I was driving to catch a flight. The highway was wide enough for about 3 lanes; there were no lane stripping or dashed lines, so it was up for interpretation. As traffic bulged so did the number of lanes, at one point there were at least 6. I mean cars were scraping rear view mirrors and if there was the tiniest space someone tried to squeeze into it. It was a mess, people were aggressive and GRIDLOCK only got worse as people tried to create more lanes so THEY could get through. I missed my flight and got to do it all over again the next morning! Ugh.

Why these driving discourses? Because… as I have matured I have seen a change in my understanding of the 10 commandments. I no longer view them as fun-crushing rules I have to follow. Instead I see them a God’s gracious guardrails, median barriers and lane markers for life. They are the ‘rules of the road’ to insure safe travel through life.

Imagine a world where truth telling was a given! It is presidential campaign season, imagine how quiet and tame the airwaves would be if candidates only told the truth and only made promises they knew, or at least really thought, they could actually keep! Imagine a trial system where perjury was unnecessary and telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth was a given.

I know the commandments can be hard to keep… I’m sure I have broken everyone just like I have drifted out of my lane and even shared the same space with a center median. None of these are good things.

This morning I am giving thanks for God’s commandments, guardrails, medians or line markers… because they have been given to me and the world to make our journey safer and more pleasurable.

And when I break one, I am thankful that Jesus forgives me when I confess it and seek His forgiveness. And I am also thankful that the Lord gives me strength to forgive others when they stray into my lane.

Thank You, Lord, for providing these rules of the road. You are a good and wonderful God and I will serve You and love You all the days of my life. Amen and amen. 



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