Monday, March 20, 2017

The Cautious Life

This entry from March 12, 2013, is about a characteristic of my personality that may be a double edged sword.
We're in the middle of Spring Break- well, technically tomorrow is the middle- so I'm in errand mode. I'm getting up to swim at 6 AM each morning to make sure I stay on a schedule but I'm not above sneaking in a nap. Tomorrow, the apartment maintenance crew is coming to clean my carpets as they do for free every six months so I'm getting some much needed reorganization out of the way. This morning, that required an early morning trip to a Super Wal-Mart which is three or four miles from my residence. After ringing up several items (pool shoes, ironing board cover, bath mat, shower curtain, digital clock), I presented the nice lady at the cash register with a check. Sometimes the system requires a driver's license ID so I pulled mine out of my wallet.....but it wasn't there. The system didn't ask for it so I was OK temporarily. As I left, I began backtracking my movements and wondering where I possibly could have left it and I came up with a wide range of possibilities. The problem was that I had to make two more stops on my way home and both were on a busy boulevard next to the 610 loop. Fortunately, I made it home without incident where I found my license under a pile of papers on my desk. I spent yesterday calling dentists/credit cards/utilities with my new phone number and it kept requiring me to pull stuff out of my billfold. WHEW! I was already mentally planning an excursion to the DMV for a replacement license and if you live in Houston, you know that's kind of like Nightmare On Elm Street. OK, I've never seen Nightmare On Elm Street but I've heard rumors. And in all honesty, my times at the DMV have been pleasant so that's a bad comparison....but it would take time and I'm guessing more money would be involved.

It's been a very long time since I got a traffic ticket. In fact, I've only got two in my life, one in Kansas and one in Louisiana. The first was when I was in college and the second right after I graduated college so I'm the owner of a very good driving record. And yet, when I drove home those several miles today, I wasn't myself. I was cautious and nervous and deathly afraid to make a mistake, like a police siren would at any second and for any reason start bearing down on me. I was looking in the rear view and outside mirrors obsessively, making sure I did not violate any ordinances or run any yellow lights or fail to come to a complete stop. Of course, it's been decades since I even spoke to an officer while operating a motor vehicle but I was positive that today was the day I would screw up, the one day without my license. And what patrolman is going to believe that I JUST lost it, even though I had my proof of insurance and all of my tags/inspection stickers are up to date? I think by trying to be perfect this morning, I was much more a hazard to myself and the others on the road. This afternoon, with my license back in my pocket, I was much more relaxed cruising the streets of Houston. I'm pretty sure Houston breathed a sigh of relief as well.

You know, I think my life sometimes imitates my driving experience this morning. I mess up and then I become so afraid of sinning again, that I take each step in anticipation of a hidden trip wire attached to a grenade that's going to annihilate me. My guess is that the Lord never intended for us to feel like we're on thin ice all the time, although that was my dad's pet saying when I was being borderline stupid, which happened with some regularity. We need to be careful of our steps but the Scriptures teach we should live a life of boldness, too. It's hard to be bold when we are constantly looking over our shoulders which are sagging with the load of guilt we are hauling around. God is our license and our identification. Be thoughtful, be wise, BUT DRIVE ON! He's also the judge when we err but we are His children. It's good to be related to The Authority!

Applicable quote of the day, # 1:
If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?

Applicable quote of the day, # 2:

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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