I was in Albuquerque recently and, while getting onto I-25 during the afternoon rush hour, a car slowed down to the speed limit allowing me to merge, as courteous drivers should do. After I got nestled into an inner lane, the car passed me and I noticed that its rear-end was crunched.
While the possibilities could be endless about how that happened, I mused about how it could’ve happened in relation to merging onto the interstate.
In one scenario, while trying to merge, the driver might’ve been rear-ended by a car that wouldn’t make room or because he simply cut someone off (I don’t know the gender of the driver and that doesn’t matter so I’ll just use the masculine gender). He may have been in my position in the past and understood what a struggle merging can be. Life is a struggle for everyone, without regard to gender, age, economic status, or ethnicity, and everyone needs encouragement. It doesn’t matter that the struggles are different, we still can comfort others without saying that we know how they feel. Rather, we can simply present our comfort from the general standpoint of knowing what it is to struggle and that anyone approach the perfect source of comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-7; Hebrews 4:14-16; Philippians 4:19).
In another scenario, an impatient driver who also wasn’t paying attention may have rear-ended my example driver when he couldn’t merge from the entrance ramp. Part of our struggles in life come because some of those around us will run us over, taking advantage of us or pushing us out of the way, to get what they want. There’s not much we can do about that other than showing them that they can often get better results without running over anyone (1 Peter 3:13-16; 2:12-15; Proverbs 16:7, 8).
In a final scenario for this article, the driver that let me merge may have been rear-ended on the Interstate by an impatient, oblivious driver about whom he also was oblivious because he hadn’t checked his rearview mirror for a tailgater before he slowed down to let someone else merge.
But that didn’t keep him from doing the good deed again. Sometimes our good deeds backfire, but we shouldn’t allow those setbacks to keep us from trying again (Galatians 6:9; Philippians 3:13-16).
Whatever happened to crunch the back of my benefactor’s car, he may have learned that the few seconds given up to do a good deed would likely be less than waiting for an accident report to be completed (keeping in mind that the guy behind you needs time to respond). It’s OK for Christians to be eager, but God does things in his own time and when we push the envelope, things sometimes don’t work out well (Philippians 3:20; 2 John: 8, 9).
However, when it comes to salvation, the offer is available to everyone and there’s no need to wait because God’s timing is now (Acts 2:36-41; 22:16; 2 Corinthians 6:1, 2).
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org