Have you ever seen someone make a rather ridiculous decision because they seemed totally oblivious to the obvious? In their own strength, they pursued their own agenda rather than heeding the rules or counsel of others. It was obvious to others that they were making an unwise decision, but they were determined to keep heading down the road they were on. They never seemed to see the reality of their situation. Even while they were in the midst of despair, they were determined to avoid the result of their choices.
A few weeks ago, we were in Terre Haute, Indiana, sitting at a traffic light of a very busy intersection. Suddenly, we heard the blaring of sirens while a steady stream of police cars turned directly in front of us. As we watched in amazement, we counted sixteen different police cars as they sped out of sight in hot pursuit. This was in the middle of town, so there were many people trying to figure what was going on and what to do. We then saw the line of police cars coming towards us again. Finally, we saw who the culprit was. Directly in front of us, we saw a car turn to go down the road in the same direction we were headed. Both of the left tires were flat and smoking. We had seen a police with a stop stick and could tell that they had been successful in blowing out his tires. However, the desperate man sitting in the driver’s seat continued his futile attempt to elude all the police cars directly behind him, but, by this time, he wasn’t able to drive very fast. It looked slightly ridiculous to us as he still seemed determined to drive away from them. Did he really think he was going to escape without having to face the consequences of his choices and decisions? We wondered how it was all going to end, but decided not to get any closer to the action because the suspect seemed very desperate. It was scary to think of who all may be affected or need to suffer the consequences of his actions. It wasn’t until about a week later that we found out how it ended…
Lately, our family has been taking a closer look at our choices and the priorities we have in our lives. We are aware that we still have areas in our lives that need attention. Sometimes, our first response is to run away from the consequences of wrong choices rather than taking responsibility for them. Our desire is to examine our decisions and to learn from them. Instead of running away, it is always better to face the repercussions. The Bible also clearly communicates that, “…In the midst of counsel, there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)
There are numerous choices that we all face every day. Many of them may seem insignificant, but none of them are unimportant. Some of these decisions include the following: how we spend our money, who we are spending time with, whether we are choosing God’s way or our own, if we are going to be enslaved by addictions, and whether we are going to encourage or discourage others. There are many outcomes that are the result of our “small” choices. However, many of us are unaware of the damage we are creating to those around us by our blind, selfish, and ungodly decisions.
By nature, I have the personality that isn’t afraid to share what my thoughts or feelings are regarding situations. God has given me the spiritual gift of discernment, and I can usually detect hidden motives or personal agendas in others. This combination has given me many opportunities to ask for God’s help in being patient and long-suffering with others, in spite of their incentives. I have to daily make the deliberate choice to speak life to those around me instead of death, and this doesn’t always come very easy for me. I can try to convince myself that what I say doesn’t really matter that much. I can assure myself that my children know that I love them and that I am doing the best that I know how. Yet, I may be unaware of how my words may “sting,” and how I may offend them. We are a “normal” family just like your family is, and we daily face the struggle that the apostle Paul faced. “For the good that I will to do, I do NOT do; but the evil I will not to do, THAT I practice.” (Romans 7:19)
Just today, I was able to tell, in one of our older girls, that something was wrong, and I felt a “wall” between us. After we talked, I discovered that we had miscommunicated and she was offended by how I had responded. I could have chosen to emphasize that she misunderstood me and took it the wrong way. The fact that God commands her to honor and respect me could have been my sole focus. However, I realized that I was also oblivious to the obvious if I didn’t see and correct my part of the situation. As I apologized for how I caused her to feel, the “walls” simply dissipated, and she was able to acknowledge and ask forgiveness for showing disrespect.
The desperate and reckless driver, that we saw in the police chase, finally came to a “dead end” and faced the harsh reality of his situation. He crashed into another car and then attempted to run on foot. Several times, while he was driving and then after he got out of his car, he was pointing a gun to his head. Thankfully, the police were able to talk him into giving up his gun, and God
spared his life. My prayer is that God will give him another chance and that his prison experience will be life changing for him.
May God help each of us to see the way our choices are affecting those closest to us. I pray that we will clearly see how our influences have an impact on those around us. If we choose to blame God or others instead of taking personal responsibility, we may say or do things that we will forever regret. The man with a gun held to his head had probably made numerous wrong decisions and was now attempting to run from them. Don’t allow yourself to get to this point! Instead of being oblivious to the obvious, may God bless you with a keen sense of His direction and enable you to choose His ways!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)