Irony has always been one of my favorite aspects in literature as well as in life. I enjoy it mostly because it has a way of reminding you and enlightening you at the same time in the same story. In the Bible, Zaccheus translated from Hebrew means “innocent or pure” and he was hardly that. We know him ironically by his reputation as a sinner, a tax collector, and not someone you’d invite to tea. The irony shows us that with God‘s salvation we are saved to be something else other than what we were. There is of course a reason why the name Zaccheus was the name of the man in the tree. There are no coincidences only God’s perfect design.
Not long ago as I was driving to work, I saw a car accident that had just occurred. A van had rear ended another car. As I passed by trying not to be an on-looker I couldn’t help but notice a bumper sticker on the van. It said, “Watch for Motorcycles!“
Yes, absolutely we should watch for motorcycles. But, I am pretty sure – and I know that the driver would agree with me – that we should also watch for CARS! Shouldn’t we also watch for animals, pedestrians, debris in the road, a woman with a baby carriage, a bike rider, a road worker who is on his 8 hour coffee break and can’t stand on the shoulder to take it, and many other things to be a well rounded defensive driver. Maybe the driver of the van was spending too much time and concern over watching for motorcycles that he failed to remember to watch out for other things too.
Lately, I have been trying to discipline myself more on certain areas of my Christian life. It is so much easier to see what other people need to improve on then yourself and I did use the word “trying.” I don’t think there is one honest Christian out there who hasn’t had their hypocritical moments. I think everyone at some point has been so busy “watching for motocycles” that they failed to see what was right in front of them. Crash!
Just a few days ago, I made a complete fool of myself and I did it in front of a few people. Now this wasn’t the normal funny foolishness that I share with you in my columns a lot; this particular incident involved my somewhat how can I say this . . .my somewhat LARGE size temper. I know as a Christian we are not supposed to succumb to such a horrible emotion or attitude; but, I hope I get credit here at least for my honesty.
I don’t know when I acquired it but somewhere in between college and now it raised it’s ugly head and challenged me to be a better Christian. As a mother you have protective instincts that I recently found out can override your attempts to control anger. You can insult me, you can lie to others about me behind my back, and I will turn the other way.. Not so much when it comes to insulting or hurting my kids. The long and short of the event was I clothed myself with the robe of hypocrisy and let many people know that another mother had done wrong.
It didn’t matter how true the remarks I made were, it did not matter either the abusive and spiteful behavior that she exhibited. (Well it does matter but I am trying to reference only my fault here.) God will judge her. What mattered is I started watching for motorcycles and ran smack dab into another object. I was trying so hard to warn others and correct her in some way that I lost track of my own behavior and acted out of my norm.
It can be very difficult as a woman, as a mother, and as a Christian to have knowledge and information of someone who is abusive to their own children and not want to wring their necks. Is that wrong? I’m KIDDING! But. . . I cannot let my pathway laid before me be interrupted or I will not ever keep growing in my faith and in my struggle to be what God wants me to be. If I spent all my time on all of the unfairness and evilness in our world I would never have time to deal with my faults and my areas that need improvement. I am not accountable for everyone only myself. I don’t have to have a bumper sticker telling others what to do when I have my own precautions to take.
Here is the beauty of all of it. It is not the irony. It is the old “no matter what” again. Whether I act hypocritical or whether I don’t. God still loves me . . . whether I point my finger or not – or when I jump off my path of discipline to correct another. God forgives me. Who knows me better than him? He has already decided what event will make me jump off that path to get me back where I need to go and with more motivation. He knows more about my temper (of course now you do too – Oops.) because he knows what buttons needs to be pushed to allow certain trials affording me opportunities to become victorious.
Thank the Lord we can be Zaccheus or a tattle tale or a fed up mother and still have Jesus ask us for a visit? No matter what, God will still have tea with me. He loves me and pushes me gently along and sometimes has to grab me by the ear to redirect me towards his will.
I hope that when I get to heaven and I see Jesus and maybe Peter or Paul riding in some golf cart up there in between all the streets of gold that I do not see a bumper sticker on the back of the cart that says “Watch out for Wendydawn!” Not the kind of humor that would make me feel comfortable if you know what I’m saying. I don’t think that would happen. I mean . . . how do we know that they even play golf?