Missing the Mark…

I messed up this week. Actually it was last Wednesday. I was driving back from the university medical center, after a grueling 2-hr echocardiogram. (And it wasn’t that grueling either, except for the technician trainee who kept trying to use the probe as a trocar. I think I’m pitching for sympathy here.)

I swung onto 83 South, toward Harrisburg, and was trying to get over into the left lane. It’s the bypass lane…nobody in that lane has any plans for getting off the highway for miles, so it’s faster, and has less stop-n-go traffic.

A truck in front of me moved to the right, and I put on my left turn signal, planning to get over into the empty space, but a van in the left lane kept pulling up halfway into the space, so I couldn’t move either way–in front of it or pull in behind. That went on for awhile–me trying to get into the left lane, and the van, trying to keep me from going anywhere! As the occupants finally pulled alongside, they all looked over at me. I looked back, annoyed, and clearly mouthed my opinion of their IQ and character.

Right after I uttered those fateful words, I thought I recognized them as the couple who runs the bookstore in a local church. They pulled away quickly, and I finally pulled in behind them. Then the full force of what I had just said fell on me like twenty years of remorse.

Tomorrow evening I will be at that church, sitting in a Wednesday night class, praying for the courage to go over and apologize.

God’s been doing that to me a lot lately–finding creative ways of highlighting my character flaws that both humiliate and admonish me. Did I say God’s doing it? Scratch that–He’s not the one who’s out there uttering expletives at other drivers. That’s me, humiliating myself…

I’ll spare you the account of the rest of the week’s episodes, but I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Do you put yourself into situations like that too? (Good! I’m not the only idiot on the road!) I guess we should be thankful He cares enough about our characters to take our training seriously!

The Lord corrects the people he loves and disciplines those he calls his own.” Be patient when you are being corrected! This is how God treats his children. Don’t all parents correct their children? God corrects all of his children, and if he doesn’t correct you, then you don’t really belong to him. Our earthly fathers correct us, and we still respect them. Isn’t it even better to be given true life by letting our spiritual Father correct us? Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace. (Hebrews 12:6-11)


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