Sunday, October 21, 2007

wreck of the day

This afternoon, I had a lovely time in the park soaking up the sun, watching the ducks go by, visiting with passer-by's... and reflecting over the debatable question john piper so eloquently posed in this week's lesson of "Don't Waste Your Life". This question was frustrating the hell out of me because I was at a loss for the answer! "What a leader.." i thought, i mean, bible study is in a few hours and i don't have a clue on how to answer this question. Before i left the park i simply prayed..." God make this study real to me today, i don't want sunday school answers.. i want it to be real".

I had left my house a few minutes earlier with the intention of being at my sisters house before study started so we could visit. What i didn't realize, was that there was an accident up ahead that was definitely no accident.

Seeing that the light up ahead was turning yellow, I sped to get through in time.
My life quickly flashed before my eyes as i swerved in the middle of a busy intersection to avoid an on-coming car who had run the light. Ready for impact, I felt the abrasive shove and heard the corresponding sound of my bumper being ripped off. I immediately pulled over thanking God i was alive and in one piece. Now it was time to check on the driver...

So Ashley was her name, and brakes were the game. Or lack there of. Unfortunately, they failed her in the moment of her greatest need. Ashley was a timid little thing at first, obviously very shaken up by the accident. When I found her she was in the middle of the highway looking around as if she was a lost puppy searching for her master. Thankfully she was fine. She had sped down the street aways until a fence finally terminated her car's wreckless ambition. Ironically, she was a wreck. Ashley could not put together a full sentence except to somehow communicate that the police would probably take her to jail if i called them. Plan B, have my mother call them. I told her it was the right thing to do... and I would pray things would turn out ok. Afterall, I said, everything happens for a reason...

Soon enough, her older sister, step-dad, and both of my parents would show up. Why we had ourselves a good ole family reunion right ther on the side of the highway! Ha. After talking briefly with Ashley's sister, I find out that they have been praying for her for years. You see, what we didn't know about Ashley was that she was a homeless meth user who had a warrant out for her arrest because of unpaid fines, and whose children lived with her parents. Her sister said, they had been praying something would happen that would re-direct her path and land her in a seat at the local church. What her sister didn't know... was that i pray for these opportunities everyday, and i wasn't as concerned with getting her in church as i was to see a change of heart. And that it did.

Her face slowly began to light up as i spoke of God's love for us and my passion for him. I went on to tell her of his grace, mercy and love... and how i've messed up a number of times, but no wreck is too damaged to repair. He can take you, wherever you are in life... and place you where you are supposed to be. I told her that He wants to use her in other people's lives... to inspire and encourage and help them. That He wants to use her gifts and talents for Him, that she could be truly happy... that He has an abudant life waiting for her! All she has to do is let go. Let go, and let Him take control. She explained that this was in fact her problem.. that she had chosen to do everything herself, while making very poor choices that have led her to the life she now sadly leads. A life of no passion, no motivation, no real friends, no peace, no happiness...a life with a dead beat boyfriend and some drugs... a wasted life.

Ironically, Ashley is slamming on the brakes over and over in her own life in a beat-up car she put together with her own hands that keeps finding itself right in the middle of another wreck. I'm sorry Carrie Underwood, but Jesus not only wants to take the wheel... He wants to make her a brand new car with proper headlights to stay on the road, a horn for warnings, and effective brakes to keep her out of the way of danger.

As I gently, but very passionately, continued to speak of God's real and amazing love with her... her whole demeanor altered. This girl was in desparate need of a someone to save her from this life... from the wreck she'd created. Who better to save her than the Savior himself. Before I left, I asked to pray with her. She gladly accepted. On the side of the highway... Ashley, her step-dad, her sister and myself watched as God picked up the pieces of debris in her life. I couldn't hardly contain my joy! As we ended our prayer and said our goodbye's, her sister gratefully whispered through her tears... thank you.

As I drove towards bible study significantly late, and with a broken car but high spirits... God reminded me of what I had prayed just a few short hours before. "God" i said, "make this study real to me today." What I didn't tell you before was what the perplexing question was. At that moment the revelation hit me! In so many words, Piper had asked if we thought affliction could be brought upon by God so His glory could be revealed in and through it?? This stumped me. I hate to think God would cause affliction upon anyone.. would God really cause something bad to happen to someone, especially his own child?? Well, my "accident" allowed me to see things from a slightly different perspective. I firmly believe that I was in the right place at the right time... and so was Ashley. This wreck, my friends, was a divine intervention at a not-so divine intersection. And you know what? I was thankful. I was more than thankful... I was extactic at the very least! God had used me.. in this wreckless driver's life who was headed down a destructive highway leading nowhere.

I tell you what, it sure does make the affliction a lot less painful when you realize God's perfect arrangement of it all. Honestly, I don't care if i'm in a wreck a day... if in return i get to witness a soul being saved. A(n) (eternal) life is much more important to me than a silly (temporary) car. That's a wreck worth happening, and people like Ashley are a wreck worth saving.

Thank God for accidents, I give Him the glory for it all!

P.s. Praise God! Ashley didn't get carried off to jail... instead she went home to be with her family and make up for some very lost time. Thankfully, we serve a God who is in the business of restoration!

Dedicated to: Ashley.. and all those other souls out there searching for something to satisfy the emptiness, the need. To those who have known the truth, then consciously walked away from it. This is to those people who may have run away from God because of something some imperfect human said or did to you. Well, you won't find the answer you are looking for in friends, lovers, drugs, philosophers, music, money or even (dare-i-say) religious leaders. You can only find the truth, the real truth... and the love you need in God- the one you've been running from. It's time to let go... and let Him take over. Just remember how short our time is here on earth, He desires for you to start living this abundant life with Him now!! In the meantime.. I'll be praying.

"Awake, O sleeper,
and rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
Eph. 5:14


Blogger Allie, Dearest said...

Hey Lindsey--I found your blog on Drew's site! I had read some of it before, and was so amazed at your travels. You are my same age, yet you have so much more insight and wisdom than I do.

Thanks for letting us in on your journeys!

12:00 PM  
Blogger Herman G said...

In our African tradition in South Africa they use an all embracing term and word called "Ubuntu" that describes the character of person with ubuntu. It fits into the Christian character as well and is to be strived for.
Artsbishop Desomond Tutu described it as follow:
“ A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed. ”

5:44 AM  

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