“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” – James 5:16
“I hate Mazdas”, my friend Beth said, with great passion. Curious, I had to ask her why. She began to tell me:
“My Drivers Ed teacher was British, and when he said ‘air’, it sounded like ‘R’. I was driving on the highway in class one day (in a Mazda), and it was hot. ‘Turn on the air,’ he said, but it sounded like ‘Turn on the R.’ I looked down, saw a line of letters marked ‘P, R, N, D, L,’ grabbed the lever and pulled it over to ‘R.’ And then the car stopped moving! We had a big wreck and I failed Drivers Ed. I hate Mazdas!”
She acted as though she didn’t understand why I laughed – out loud – at that story; but I suspect she knew. And, though I hope in the thirty-ish years that have passed since I heard her tell that tale she has, perhaps, reconsidered her Mazda aversion, I don’t know. Haven’t seen Beth in a long time.
It’s funny, isn’t it? How we so often miss the point? The point, in this case, being that one shouldn’t throw the car into reverse when you’re traveling forward at sixty miles per hour. That ain’t Mazda’s fault!
As Pogo said in the old cartoon, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” The cartoonist was making a point about littering, but we’re capable of being our own enemies in other venues, don’tcha think?
I’m not sure why we so often don’t want to face facts about decisions we’ve made, but the consequences can go far beyond a broken relationship with the Mazda Motor Corporation. What about broken relationships with loved ones? With family? With friends in the congregation? With God? When we don’t “consider our ways” (Haggai 1:7), we run the risk of, not only “wrecking the Mazda” of our faith, but of putting the blame in the wrong place.
The solution? Humility. Consider the possibility that we might have made a mistake. Consider the possibility that we might be wrong. Look up – at the Savior. Compare His walk with ours. Learn the real cause of the wreck, even if it reveals our own failure. That’s how we will keep our car “between the ditches” and going forward in “D” – not “R”!