Saturday, November 12, 2011

because pride cometh before the fender bender

I used my GPS for the first time the other day. Well, I had semi-used it once before when I was stuck in traffic and knew how to press the button with the home icon calculated an alternate route. But this was the first time I actually keyed in a destination. And I was figuring it out fine, except for the view. Its default was to show me only the next turn, and I knew that wasn’t going to work because I pride myself in being a responsible driver I’d have to constantly take my eyes off the road. But I didn’t have time to fuss with it or else I’d be responsible no longer (gasp!) late. So off I drove.

And minutes later, I became a statistic.

Because less than a mile from home, I got into an accident. I was so focused on confirming my right turn with the GPS that I forgot to look up (and left, in particular).

Fortunately, the other car swerved, so the damage was minor and everyone was okay. But in my heart and mind, that wasn't the point there was something that still troubled me. And I am not one to get fired up, but I was angry. No, I was furious. But, um, I didn’t know why.

And before I disclose my insecurities go any further, let me be clear that I still regret take full responsibility for choosing to use the stinkin' GPS, for taking my eyes off the road, and for hitting the other car. Yes, I always have a choice.
(That public service announcement brought to you by my head.)

But as for my heart, I felt wronged. Even betrayed.
(Yes, folks, I realize that I was experiencing intense emotions toward an inanimate object, but just humor me for a few minutes, mmkay?)

So after praying about it and toggling between tears and rage talking to my husband about it, I realized that because I am still trying to blame the GPS didn’t have time to figure out how to change the view (or go inside to print directions from mapquest), I felt like I didn’t have much choice but to use the GPS “as is” three. measly. yards. at a time. Like I was forced to do something that I knew was irresponsible. And then to add salt to the wound, I ended up the bad guy!
The irresponsible one . . .

We need to stop right there, friends. Because that is one big ouch, with a capital O.
I was irresponsible? . . .
And THAT, my friends, is where my pride cries out like a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum draws the line.

Because far be it from me that I ever appear fallible irresponsible. And even farther be it from me that I ever actually AM human irresponsible. I make smart choices, not foolish choices. I use my turn signals. I follow the rules. That’s where I've wrongly placed my safety and security who I am! And according to that (false) premise, the GPS clearly violated my identity. The accident, a direct blow to my perceived value.

Fortunately, God is greater than my tantrums pride. And He reminded me that life’s not about doing the right things.


Did I just say what I think I just said?

I need to say that one again.
The goal in life isn't doing the right things.
That is not why we are here.
(Excuse me, but did that thought just rock your world like it did mine??)

This is about a relationship, friends. A relationship with God Almighty.
The One who rejoices over you with singing.
The One who has never stopped loving you since the beginning of time.
The One who knows your weaknesses, and loves you anyway.
The One who offers safety amidst life’s storms.
The One with whom you can entrust your whole soul – and know that it is always protected.

The One who can heal your broken heart.

As I’ve shared before, responsibility isn’t bad; it’s good. Very good! But ultimately, life is not about being responsible, friends. It’s about God.

I am valued not because of any responsibility that comes out of me, but because of the glory that was placed IN me the moment I was created in God’s image.

In Christ, God doesn’t see me as responsible or irresponsible. When God looks at me, all He sees is Christ. In all of His righteousness. All of His spotlessness. Only when I remember that my identity is safe and secure in Christ is my soul at rest. For He is the only identity that cannot be shaken.

Lord, help me to not be so preoccupied with doing the right things turns in life that I forget to look up, that I forget to keep my eyes on what really matters. May I be forever preoccupied with You.


  1. Oh friend. I am SO sorry to hear about your fender bender. I completely understand your emotional response. I've felt fragile for the last few days and when something (anything the least bit costly) crops up, I feel like I want to melt into a pool of emotion. So, I get it.
    What a great way to process the whole thing, though. I learn from you.

    Not to make light of your circumstance, but I couldn't help but envision the "Mr. Mayem" commercials where he plays the role of a GPS and the commercial ends in a wreck and he is saying "recalculating!" :)

  2. I'm so sorry to heart about your accident, but sure glad you are okay! Your posts are always such an encouragement & I seem to read them just at the right time (even when it is several days after you post.)
    I've been feeling like such a failure in certain areas just recently & needed this reminder that in God's eyes I am not a failure, but His fragile child that is deeply loved. Thanks for the reminder!


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