I like to drive. I do my best thinking while I’m driving, at least if I’m alone in the car. It’s interesting to observe how drivers interact. They pay attention to signs, search for patterns, and interpret signals to predict the actions of fellow drivers. Fascinating! Such interaction varies from one country to another. Failure to comply with official regulations may lead to fines, accidents, or loss of license. Most people will agree upon the need for traffic regulations. We need some general guidelines for interaction. If not, things may go terribly wrong.
Traffic cameras and regulations
We have traffic cameras in Norway. They are clearly marked with a sign saying, ‘Within the next mile there is a speed-controlling camera’. Our Spanish friend laughed out loud when he saw it. “Why would they put up such a sign? Then people will know that there’s a camera there and slow down to avoid getting caught! It’s useless!” It took me a few seconds to understand what he meant.
I answered: “They’ve put up the camera to make sure that people slow down. This used to be an accident-prone area, but now the number of traffic incidents has been drastically reduced.”
He continued, “But people will slow down! They won’t catch them this way!”
I was confused. “They don’t have to catch anyone! As long as people behave while driving, there’s no need to get anyone.”
He was adamant, “But they’ll just drive fast somewhere else where there’s no camera! The state won’t get much money this way!!
It dawned on me. “You think that they put up the camera to catch people speeding and to get more money for the government, but that’s not why they did it. There used to be a lot of accidents on this road. Lives were lost. Now, there are hardly any accidents at all. People drive more cautiously. Nobody gets hurt. There’s no longer the need for hospital treatments and rehab. The state actually saves a lot of money!”
Renewal of the mind
He stared incredulously at me, trying to decide whether I was a tad bit stupid, or if this was the major revelation it seemed to be. He landed on the latter.
“But that’s amazing!” He looked thoughtful. “I wonder why we don’t do that everywhere?”
Traffic regulations prevents death and destruction. By complying with them, we get to live, move and explore. The regulations ensure our freedom, so to speak.
Much like the Word of God.
Some people treat the Bible like a set of rules that exist to kill joy, hinder initiative, spread misery, and generally suck the life out of people. God becomes a distant governor who is out to punish and restrict people.
The Giver of all that’s good is reduced and distorted into a mean, demanding little god, someone who will hurt you if you allow him to come close. So, you don’t. Of course, you don’t. Why would you willing submit yourself to a fake god who is only out to get you? Why voluntarily surrender to a petty little god who will take your life and freedom, not to mention your money? Of course not. I know I wouldn’t.
But then again, that’s not who God is.
The truth about God
He’s the Father.
He’s the One who sacrificed everything to give you all.
He’s the Lover of my soul. And yours, too – if you want him to be.
His commandments are for our good. The guidelines exist to keep us safe. His regulations are to make sure that we don’t become slaves to fear, victims of bitterness, servants of evil.
Don’t be deceived. Don’t let yourself be fooled to believe that God is out to get you, to make you pay or to revoke your license to live. Truth is, you could never pay what you owe. That’s why he paid the ultimate price to give you eternal life.
Because he’s good and his mercy lasts forever.