by Erin Wikle –
As I was driving into work recently, I got stuck behind someone who was taking his sweet time on a busy and narrow road in North Seattle. There was no one in front of him. Frustrated, I honked my horn hoping he’d realize he was moving considerably slower than the rest of us. Immediately, the guy slammed on his brakes. Baffled, I swerved to move into the left lane only to have Mr. Slowpoke swerve right in front of me. Completely irritated by this point, I moved quickly back into the right hand land. Sure enough, my new friend swerved just as quickly back in front of me again. Laying on the horn, I yelled something to the tune of, “You jerk. What are you doing?” and hastily sped past him. Of course, as I passed my fellow commuter, he replied with an emphatic wave of a particular finger—and no, he was not gesturing that I was #1.
Can you believe that? Who in their right mind would behave like that? I was utterly disgusted…
Hi, my name is Erin—and I struggle with road rage.
After momentarily panicking that I’d be followed to my place of employment (the church) and soon discovered as a (gasp) a Christian, I realized just how stupidly I’d behaved in response to a momentary inconvenience. And as though Jesus himself reached straight down out of the sky to slap me across the forehead, I quickly recalled the verse he’d asked me to claim and cling to this year:
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25).
Sure, we can all laugh at this little exchange—because we’ve all been there, right? But, really, it simply goes to show that it takes but a careless moment of living in the world to reveal the deep-set depravity of all mankind.
It’s funny. When we consider the crucifixion of our sinful nature, we seem to think that Christ crucified all the “big tickets” items—lust, omission, hatred—but not the little things that are easy to dismiss—a quick glance at someone who’s not your wife, the “little something” you didn’t budget for, but bought anyway, and of course, the trash you talked just before small group started.
Christ didn’t put to death and bury for me what I could simply dig up during my greatest moments of weakness. When Christ, who bore the sin of the world, was put to death on a cross, he resurrected new, his Spirit abiding with us, so that we too, would be new.
It’s time for us to slow down and pace ourselves not by the world’s standards, but by the Spirit’s. Keep in step with the Spirit and reclaim your salvation during every moment of weakness—even if it’s just on a busy street in Seattle.