(“Thoughts I Want
To Leave Behind” is a collection of thoughts and impressions I want to leave
behind as I begin to make my final pastoral transition.)
#24 Know Your
Earlier this week,
I was following a drunk driver. He was all over the road. One moment he would
cross the centerline and in another moment he would be driving in the opposite
lane. I called 911 and gave the vehicle
description and direction of travel. As
I talked with the dispatcher, I was trying to read the passing street signs to
let her know where I was so the responding officers would know my
location. I would end up following this man for 30 minutes because officers
were tied up on other calls and could not break free. I prayed as I drove that no one would be hurt.
Eventually the man pulled off the road and stopped. I continued on glad he was
no longer a threat to anyone. I
rediscovered something during those 30 minutes tailing that drunk driver that I
had not experienced in years.
When I was a rookie
cop my first few weeks of training made me feel like an alien living in a world
I never knew existed. I had to learn how to live and survive in a hostile environment. I was taught survival skills that would let
me go home alive each night to my wife.
One of the first
skills drilled into me was to always know my location. My training officer would get me talking and distracted
not paying attention to where I was and then he would ask, “Tell me where you
are!” The first few times I had no idea – I was completely lost. After this embarrassment repeatedly took
place over the next several days, I finally trained myself to know my location at all
times. I learned how vital it was to always to know my location and direction
of travel in case we needed to call for help or came upon an accident. Calling
for back up or calling for an ambulance and telling the dispatcher, “Send help.
I don’t know where I am” is not a reassuring radio transmission.
Is there someone in
your life who functions like a spiritual training officer who could ask you,
“Where are you spiritually and what is your direction of travel?” How would you
respond to that question? Deception in any form is dangerous. So is being naïve or ill-informed. Each of these conditions will reveal that you
don’t know your true spiritual location and that lack of knowledge can put you
and those around you in jeopardy.
Today, as you turn
the corners of your life and travel through new relational neighborhoods, ask
the Lord to show you where you are and your direction of travel. Only when you know your true location can you
call for help.