All The Time

You Did Not Have Time, or You Forgot To Do It.

Ed, my cousin from Saskatchewan, told me last week, why he thought that I do not always signal when changing lanes or turning right or left. My old friend feels that signaling needs to be done, only if there is traffic behind your car to see your signals. When I talked to Ed by Skype last week, I said that my son-in-law, Eric, told me, that I needed always to signal when changing lanes, and I sure didn’t appreciate his observation. Usually, I like my daughter’s husband well enough, but hearing the truth did not sit well with me. The truth was that when I changed lanes there was no traffic immediately near me on the interstate. Yes, the law always says signal your lane changes and turns.

Apparently, about a quarter of drivers do not signal turns and lane changes faithfully. Such drivers have claimed that signaling is optional, or they forgot or did not have time. Some also explain that they may not signal because if they signal, they forget to shut it off, and so they just don’t signal at all. Studies of causes of automobile accidents have suggested that nearly one-half of car accidents reflect a failure of one of the drivers to make a needful signal. Failure to signal, consistently, may reflect a lazy, bad habit that needs to be corrected. No one likes to hear they have a lazy, bad habit that needs to be corrected. At least I didn’t. Ed told me that since we have moved closer to family, I will suffer from more complaints from others because even grandkids will tell me what I do wrong. My old neighbor claimed it was like having more than one wife.  

Prophets in the Old Testament like Isaiah often told the people of God how they had bad habits, and how they were morally deficient before God. Often, the people of God did not like to hear the truth of his words. In the Psalms, often the bad habits are general and impersonal, such as; “The fool says in his heart that there is no God.” Isaiah, however, is very direct in criticizing the conduct of the people who draw near to God in worship. He states that they come near to God with their mouths and lips, but their hearts are far from him. Isaiah reminds them that God is not like them. The Lord knows and sees their thoughts, attitudes, and plans. They forget that God their Potter or Creator is not like them the clay. They needed to submit themselves to God, not follow their personal opinions. The people of God cannot tell God what to do. The clay cannot tell the potter what he should fashion it into while the clay is in the potter’s hands.

If we want to change our bad habits and moral deficiencies, we must admit them. I like it when other drivers signal their turns and lane changes, but saying that is useless unless I’m willing to signal myself consistently, when I’m driving. Do we honor God at church with our mouths and lips with the words of the liturgy, prayers, and hymns, and still have hearts that are far from God? God knows if it is so?

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