I truly believe that the great voice of God, in this world, is in the Bible. That’s where we find a clear message, giving us direction for our lives. That source has always been good for me.
It’s also true that God can send things into our lives with a clear message. In my experience, these ‘experience’ messages are easy to ignore, or dismiss, but they point us to something important, if we are willing to listen.
So, I have a new job, in a new city. Everything is new for me, and for the people I work with. I do driver evaluations and those who are successful move forward to something new that makes them happy. They shake my hand and thank me, or cry. I really enjoy my new circumstances, and so do the clients. It’s happiness and a new chapter in life, for everyone.
I like living in all this new and positive energy.
The other day, I started work by evaluating a route. It’s important to ensure that the route will do the job, and I won’t get lost; and this new thing was interesting for me. I had just started when my phone beeped for a text message. That was annoying, but I was able to stop and check who was sending me messages so early in the morning.
I was surprised.
One of my best friends told me that his brother had just died. I called him immediately, and he told me the story. The brother is the rich one in the family, and a very likable man. He was a self-made millionaire, with a family and many friends, and I am one of the people who admire him. Early this week, he had some unusual heart trouble, that came on suddenly, and the surgeons were standing by at the heart centre in the University Hospital. My friend said his brother only needed twenty more minutes, but he didn’t have twenty minutes. The ambulance couldn’t go that fast.
That conversation did not fit with my new and positive day.
After hanging up the phone, I had to hustle to stay on schedule. About one minute after I started driving again, all traffic stopped, in all lanes, in a small city. My schedule started to evaporate as we all took turns driving out of the traffic jam. When I got to the front, I finally saw the problem. A car had completely flipped over in the middle of a busy intersection, for no obvious reason. This happened just after I hung up the phone. The damage was serious enough to kill, or seriously maim the people in the car. As I waited, I was able to take a picture, included with this article.
In the picture, there are some interesting details. You can see the car flipped over, on the left. On the right is someone holding something in a green blanket. From the way they held that object, I think it was a baby. Also notice the buildings behind, a police station and a fire hall. If you have a roll-over accident, you know help will arrive soon at that intersection.
So did God speak to me?
Only if I want to listen.
This is a message that I could overlook: I can be happy, but I can’t be a happiness junky. My day was filled with new and exciting things, and I enjoyed every one of them. But far away, my good friend was grieving. And nearby, injured people were rescued from a smashed car, possibly including a baby.
My personal happiness can never crowd out compassion. I think my friend needed that conversation, and those people certainly needed to be rescued. I need to be God’s child in this world; it’s not all about me.
God make me someone who is good for my neighbors.
If you are wondering, I don’t think God caused the crash or the death for my benefit, those things just happened. The communication came at a good time for me.
The Bible is clear: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13: 34 and 35) and “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). And
This ‘downer’ message opposes the feel-good, self-loving, hedonism in our culture, and I think God spoke to me.
A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools. Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 7: 1 to 6)