Monday, September 20, 2010

Chasing Cars

We’ve all witnessed it at some point or another. A car coming down the road at a high rate of speed, and a dog - small, medium, or large - will race out toward said vehicle…barking…attacking – and then, right before disaster, is left behind…clueless as to what they were almost involved in. I always wondered what was going through a dog’s mind during these moments. What made them want to leave the comfort of their yard or the relaxing place on the front porch to chase after something so large and fast?

(VW Bus - Downtown Baltimore City)
The principle behind their decisions brings to mind a warning Paul wrote about on how to live our everyday lives. He told the Ephesian church in Ephesians 5:15-16,So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” (NLT)

These chasing-car dogs want to get as close to disaster as they can without having to face the consequences that would come from that decision. In the same token, so many people want to see how close they can get to sin without feeling the repercussions. The question goes much deeper than simply, ‘Is this the legal thing to do, or is this acceptable?’ 
The question we must ask ourselves…’Is this the WISE thing to do?’  Paul said it straight – we don’t have time to waste chasing after things that could bring about disaster. It’s imperative to ‘make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.’

(Hwy 24 / Bel Air Rd Intersection)
(Bel Air, MD)
One dog must have watched another dog chase a car and said to himself, “Boy, that looks like fun. I think I’ll try that with the next gigantic metal object that comes by.” If culture defines where our feet take us, it might lead us to a place we eventually don’t want to end up. It’s why so many lives are filled with regrets. 
We get distracted away from living wisely.

Paul said you must go further than simply asking:
…’Is there scripture for this?’
…’Is everyone else doing it?’
…’Does the bank approve of it?’
Instead, we MUST return to the question, “Is this the wise thing to do?”

Some are afraid to ask this question. They already know the answer. We are like the dog sitting on the porch – doing whatever we are doing; and then down the road comes our weakness - that ‘thing’ we usually can’t handle, the enticement to follow our own desires and not God’s…and as we take chase, we are left in the dust (if we aren’t completely run over in the process).

(Road Split)
(Downtown Bel Air, MD)
Ask yourself three questions:
1. In light of my past, is this the wise thing to do? 
I remember the last time I did that, and is it best for me to be around that? We all have a past unique to us. So I ask: After where you’ve been and what you’ve gone through, is that car worth chasing?

2. In my present circumstances, what is the wise thing to do? 
We can’t allow ourselves to make decisions based on emotion. Maybe your decision would be right later on…but not at this moment.

3. In light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise decision
Anyone with experience knows that unwise decisions can rob us of so much in our future. So much time has been wasted ‘chasing after cars’ that led us nowhere.

(Hwy 1)
(Bel Air, MD)
Andy Stanley said it well, “Don’t rob yourself…by FOOLING yourself.”

No one sets out to mess up their life. The problem is…we never plan not to.

Stop. Evaluate where you are. Before making the decision to chase…ask the question, ‘Is this the WISE thing to do?’

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