Monday, October 30, 2006

Spooked

Isaiah 11:3 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;

It had been an intense week at work, with deadlines on several projects converging simultaneously. Ironically, I'm told I always seem calm and unruffled, like a ship sailing serenely through the sea of life, but on the inside I was feeling more like a leaky row boat that required baling and rowing all at once.

It was late afternoon when I left the office. I'd worked hard all day, but I relaxed as I drove out of Bradford in the safe bubble of my car, windshield wipers slapping away a gentle drizzle--radio people chatting away about the news in the rest of the world.

I was startled from my peace and anticipation of getting home by the loud blast of a horn. In the rearview mirror I saw a large truck close behind me, making it clear that I was going too slow in the fast lane. I hadn't realized my reverie had caused me to slow and my knee-jerk reaction was to speed up, going over the speed limit under the pressure from behind. I saw that the approaching lights had turned yellow and I realized that I was speeding on rain slicked roads. So I put on my brakes and slowed to a stop. This caused the closely following Road Warrior to blast the horn again and swerve around me on my left, zooming through the now red light and on into the distance.

The next morning I was on my way to a meeting in Alliston and stopped at a red light in Bond Head. A car beside me honked its horn. Still spooked, I thought the car looked like my daughter Brenda's, but I wasn't sure. The way was clear and I turned north.

Five minutes later my cell phone rang. It was Brenda. "Mom, are you mad at me?" she asked (it had been her at the lights). Something had happened the night before that she thought I was upset about. She'd been suffering anxiety over it and when I looked at her warily at the lights and drove off, that confirmed it for her--I was mad. So sure was she of this that it took her five minutes to pluck up the courage to call.

So many different realities! A truck driver who probably thought I was a road hog. Me who thought the driver was road rage personified (maybe the person had a crisis to get to) and Brenda and me, both spooked by something from the day before and reacting accordingly. How easy it is to misinterpret the actions of others. The only way to know, is to ask like Brenda did, but so often we don't, it's easier to interpret and judge--and get it wrong.

Isaiah 11:3-4 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Isaiah 11
A Green Shoot from Jesse's Stump 1-5
A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse's stump, from his roots a budding Branch.
The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him,
the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength,
the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God.
Fear-of-God
will be all his joy and delight.He won't judge by appearances,
won't decide on the basis of hearsay.He'll judge the needy by what is right,
render decisions on earth's poor with justice.
His words will bring everyone to awed attention.
A mere breath from his lips will topple the wicked.
Each morning he'll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots,
and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment, and I enjoyed this post today. Reminds me of things in my own life that spook me from time to time. Maybe they are God's alarm clocks for us to protect us in some way...sometimes that's the way I regain peace from them...