Don’t blame what you can see for what you can’t see.

When I am in a hurry, there is nothing worse than getting caught following a slow poke. You know the drill, you’re driving along smoothly in the fastest lane when suddenly you have to brake because a truck or van ahead is barely moving. 

Remember that popular book published several years ago entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”?  Well someday I am going to write a book called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned Behind the Wheel.”

So there we are, sandwiched by the cars now piled up behind us, up close and personal staring at the ugly rear end of the guy ahead of us.  I don’t know about you, but here is how my impatient thinking typically goes when someone is blocking my view and my way in traffic.  Either under my breath or out loud, depending on who’s in the car with me, I start blaming that oversized, underpowered vehicle and it dimwitted driver I see in front of me.

But to my chagrin, here’s what I’ve discovered.  More frequently than I’d like to admit, the holdup in the traffic is seldom the big vehicle in front of me.  When I’m finally able to see around the guy it turns out that the real cause of the slowdown is someone or something farther up the road that I didn’t see.

Now I’ve learned the real lesson here is that I need to be careful not to blame or judge someone as the cause of a negative effect in my life simply because they seem to be the obvious choice. The obvious can be misleading. We need God’s help to see beyond the obvious to the real cause.  That takes patience and prayerful discernment.  In the meantime we can put into practice the grace of forgiveness and love.  And who knows, it may be the DOT or God himself who is causing the slowdown for the greater good of all involved, including you and me.

The Bible says a lot about this.  We’re told “the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” And Jesus told us not to be quick to judge another or judge by appearances, but to judge with righteous judgment. (1 Samuel 16:7, Matthew 7:1 & John 7:24)

And so, don’t be too quick to blame what you can see for what you can’t see.

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