I had to stop halfway home from work today to buy an ice scraper and some wiper fluid that wouldn’t freeze when I used it. It was early November when the heater in my little Chevy pickup stopped working. That was actually the third heater I had installed in as many months and this time I opted to just bypass the system and go without its protection from the cold. I knew it would be freezing, but I assumed I could ride the winter out with the assistance of a couple blankets and some coffee. I almost made it, too.
There were a couple of late nights and some early morning drives that must have made me look pretty foolish. I had on several layers of clothing, a snowcap, and a hood. All of this was wrapped up in a blanket. Foolish looking I’m sure… but warm as a baby kangaroo in its mother’s pouch.
As I said, I almost made it, but the inevitable overlooked factor eventually came into play. You see, a little Chevy pickup without a heater is also a little Chevy pickup without any means to defrost the windshield.
Today was the first attempt I made to drive a long distance in freezing rain without the defrost working. The fog on the inside of the windshield wasn’t that bad. I simply cracked the windows so that the both sides of the windshield were at the same 30-degree temperature. This eliminated the fog, but it didn’t stop the ice from sticking to the outside of the glass.
Even the windshield wipers soon became ineffective as ice began to stick to ice. Add a little water from my wiper spray and the mess is complete. Thus, I had to stop halfway home from work today to buy an ice scraper and some wiper fluid that wouldn’t freeze when I used it… so now you know why.
As I slowly made my way home, regularly spraying the windshield with antifreeze, the Lord took me back to my prayers this morning. The following is what I now find recorded in my journal.
Lord, I’m really having a hard time. I can’t really pin point it either. I lack whatever it is that causes people to become so devoted to You. Is it discipline or motivation… or am I lacking in something even greater, like true love or faith? Why is it so difficult to find consistency on a daily basis? How can a man, still attached to his flesh, find peace with God? How can he find consistency? If you show me, I’ll tell the world.”
My difficult drive home today was directly related to a decision I made three months ago. I foolishly believed that I could plow through winter on my own. “I don’t need no stinkin’ heater! I’m tough as nails.” They say that hindsight is 20/20, and I believe them. Today, I can see three considerable flaws in my mindset last November.
- “The heater isn’t really that important”
- “I’m tough enough to make it through the winter on my own”
- “It will be easier to fix next summer anyway.”
These three faulty views of reality are the same ones that affect my consistency with the Lord. Instead of a heater though, I assume that reading my Bible, prayer, accountably, or church aren’t really that important. I also believe that I can make it through difficult trials on my own, leaving God out of the equation. Finally, I find that procrastination may be my biggest enemy yet. “I can read my Bible later.” “I’ll spend time in prayer right after I do this…” The list could go on forever.
Maybe you’re like me. I’ve never actually expressed these ideas in thought or word, but they’re evident in my lifestyle. If you’re having a hard time discerning the truth within your own life, I challenge you to look for the warning signs.
- Do you regularly make excuses for the decisions you’ve made in the past?
- Are you overcompensating in other areas of life to make up for the missing consistency with God? (All those layers of clothing were really uncomfortable and restricting to my driving).
- Are you continually stopping on the side of the road in search of quick fixes to your problems?
- Do you spend more time worrying about your bad decisions than you would have doing it God’s way in the first place?
If you answered yes to any of these warning signs, I challenge you to commit to change. I have since realized how dangerous and stressful my decision to go without heat really was. In the same manner, the excuses that keep me from a consistent relationship with God are just as dangerous and stressful.
Do you want peace with God? Are you searching for a greater consistency in your relationship with Him? Maybe you need to go back a couple months and reevaluate the decisions you’ve been making. After all, hindsight is 20/20 (Jeremiah 33:3; James 1:5).