Earlier this week I had a 7:00 a.m. appointment at a dealership for an oil change on the van. Things were progressing nicely. I got some work done in the waiting area, and then glanced up at the morning news on TV. The Channel 2 helicopter was following a police chase down Groesbeck. Though it had started around Hall and Van Dyke, I watched the chase as it crossed I-696, and then Eight Mile. Eventually one person from the vehicle was arrested while we watched. The other person from that car, the last I heard, was still loose.
About then my pager went off, notifying me that the van was done. My phone also made a noise, but, since I was busy, I ignored it. I pulled out of the dealership, heading to where Monica was watching our granddaughter. The plan was for me to return the van to her and take my car for the rest of the day. My phone made a noise again, but now I was busy driving … so I ignored it again.
Following the exchange, my plan was to head westbound down I-94 from River Road to STL … but my phone was still trying to get my attention. This time I decided to open it up, if for no other purpose than to stop it from bothering me. The message was from Waze, my navigational app. The message was simple: "Westbound I-94 closed at 12 Mile. Huge traffic backup. Take alternative route."
With one additional tap, it directed me off the freeway at Shook Road, and then down Jefferson until 10 Mile. My drive took me only about five minutes longer than usual. I was saved … but what would the story have been had I kept on ignoring the messages?
This, of course, was just a little thing that saved me, perhaps an hour out of the over 60,000 I live each year. Think, for a moment, of the thousands of times and ways God in Christ Jesus reaches out to us, day by day, trying to get our attention. He is relentless … in his love for us … "desiring all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 2.4)
Yet how easy it is for us to ignore his messages. Other things get our attention (like the pager at the dealership). We are busy doing other - more important(?) - things. And before we know it, we are stuck. Our first tendency, generally, is to blame either God or someone else. However, the truth of the matter is, we are to blame … because we have been ignoring God as he has been reaching out to us over and over again … seeking first to warn us of the impending danger, and then to re-direct our lives along a much more advantageous path.
The psalmist is truly inspired as he writes, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119.105). "There's nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another - showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us." (2 Timothy 3.15-17)
Waze may have saved me an hour or so on Tuesday, but the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life … the one who keeps trying to draw my attention back to his Word … has even greater things in mind for me … and for you. I pray his Word gets, and keeps, our attention … on a daily basis.