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Yes, I am THAT driver who was stopped on a freeway by a Corporal from a local police department in my home town . . . a Corporal who also apparently attends my own church. “Are you aware Mr. Miller of the reason I stopped you?” “I have a fairly good idea”. “Did you see the stop sign back there in your church parking lot? The one you ran through?” “Yes, I did . . . but I had already committed to speeding up as I left the parking lot so as to merge ahead of oncoming traffic on Highway 74 . . . I deserve to be stopped, I have no other explanation.”
Yes, I had become the latest example that thousands of traffic laws and regulations coupled with a ginormous effort to effect “law-enforcement” has little if any power to impact judgement and change selfish, impatient behavior. Antanas Mockus, the former mayor of Bogota, Colombia had a similar realization . . . only in his city, it was resulting in Bogota becoming the highest per capita traffic fatality city in the world.
Mayor Mockus’s solution? Mimes . . . yes, you read it correctly, mimes. Mockus introduced hired mimes to tame the city’s unruly traffic. The mimes ridiculed bad behavior and handed out thumbs-up/thumbs-down cards to shame bad drivers. Over a very short period of time, the roadways became much more efficient and the deaths by automobiles dropped significantly. Apparently, drivers don’t like the embarrassment created by mimes giving them a hard time in public.
But something from both my childhood and the general prison population world-wide tells me shame and humiliation might temporarily influence “compliance”, but really don’t get to the heart of the matter. God sent mimes in the form of warning prophets and judges . . . but He did so to reveal that unless we come to His Son Jesus Christ for a heart transplant, we are doomed to repeat not only the same selfish decisions over our life . . . we are doomed to miss out on a relationship with a God who just happens to be crazy in love with His children.
Shame? Scolding? Ridicule? Humiliation? Nope, God chose grace . . .
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.” Romans 8:1-3
On our own, we humans tend to take the same “law-breaking” tendency into relationships . . . relationships where love desired is compromised by our own stubborness, impatience and hurtful pride. My Valentine Confession? My name is David “JB” Miller and I am a North Carolina GS_20-158 Perpetrator . . . and that just scratches the surface!
Thank God that grace and mercy comes to our end of the relationship from heaven and removes upon request all that is defective and destructive . . . and that our spiritual criminal record is made clean . . . absent of even the tiniest violation. Want the best relationship possible with your sweetheart this Valentine’s season? Break it to them . . . you need a heaven-sent heart transplant . . . trust me, you won’t be admitting something they don’t already know. Yep, we all need God to do something in and through our lives that we can never do for ourselves . . . starting first in how we relate to our Valentine. God is ready . . . are you?
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26
David “JB” Miller