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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Center Line

I was driving back to work from lunch this afternoon when a gust of wind pulled my little Cube into the other lane. I instantly jerked the steering wheel bringing my car back into its own lane. When I was driving home from the gym this evening, I paid close attention to keeping a firm grip on the wheel even as my mind began to wonder. There are a million little rabbit trails going in all directions in this head of mine... It's an interesting place to hang out. I was thinking about judgement and how quickly we are to pass it when it comes to someone else's doings. Unlike the judicial system we operate under, you don't always get to plead your case in day to day living. People are free to pass judgement upon each other with or without any evidence whatsoever. Why do they do it? Who knows. Maybe they just got up on the wrong side of the bed and you happened to be the lucky duck to cross their path that day. Maybe they do it as a way to sooth their own shortcomings. As humans we do tend to like to rationalize our behavior with statements like.... "Well, I may abuse drugs, but at least I don't abuse "illeagal" drugs." Or.... "I may drink, but I never drink and drive." Or.... (I love this one) "I don't gossip, everything I tell you about someone is the truth." That's a classic. The common thread is, I may not be perfect, but at least I'm not as bad as that guy. This weekend a tragic accident happened in our small town. A pickup truck crossed the center line and caused a group of 13 motorcycles to crash. Sadly, there was a life lost and several still hang in the balance. The helicopters and ambulances had barely started assisting the wounded when wild speculations where being tossed around as to how someone could do something as careless as cross the center line.  Of course the first judgement was, he must have been texting. My heart broke because regardless of what the investigation reveals, he will forever live with the fact that he was responsible for the death of at least one, possibly more lives. Not only did the lives of those riding motorcycles change Saturday, but the life of that driver changed as well, and it's not for the better. The knowledge of taking a life would be a heavy burden to carry for all of your days, but especially if it was caused by something that wasn't as negligent as texting, or drinking while driving. It very well could have happened to me today when the wind whipped my little car just a few inches to the left.  I just wish everyone had a pause button that automatically stopped their judging process until they actually have evidence and everyone has had a chance to plead their case, but this is life and people are harsh as long as the finger isn't pointed directly at them.... "I'm not perfect, but at least I'm not as bad as him/her." Not to mention how quickly we forget our own transgressions. Thankfully, God has an abundance of grace even when all of the evidence is in and the verdict is guilty as charged. That may not be any consolation to those who lost loved ones, but it sure makes me feel better.

John 8:7
"When they kept questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any of you who are without sin be the first one to cast a stone at her."

I'm not sure what Jesus began writing in the sand, but whatever it was caused the heated throng of blood thirsty men to drop their stones and walk away from what they had hoped would be a brutal death of an adultress.... Interesting. Perhaps they began looking into the intents of their own hearts and found them not nearly as snowy white as they pretended them to be. Millions of us, me incuded, must be mindful that we don't have the same blood thirst as these men who were so self righteous, so assured that they were far better than the whore they wished to stone. Because when it comes to judgement, it is so very easy to cross the center line.... Or should I say sinner line. As Romans 3:23 so simply states.....
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Thankfully when he looks at me he doesn't see my sins, for they are many, but he sees his blood which covers my sins and reflects back to him not my righteousness, but His righteousness which is always on the right side of the center line.

Hand out grace in buckets and be blessed.

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