What Is That on the Back Seat?
I recall an adventure I had one day when I stopped at an elderly lady’s house for a visit. I parked in her driveway as I normally did, but on this occasion I decided to let the car windows down a couple inches to take advantage of the good fresh outside air. I went in and had a wonderful visit as usual with the retired school teacher who was in poor health but still very delightful to talk to. When I got back in the car I heard a commotion behind me. Immediately I suspected that a squirrel had gotten in through the little opening in the window. I quickly got out, not wanting an encounter with a berserk bushy tailed rodent; I had no desire to experience what Ray Stevens described in his hilarious rendition of The Mississippi Squirrel Revival that caused such a stir in the church.
With the best speed I could muster at that moment, I hopped out of the car and opened the doors to let the critter out. It was then that I realized it was not what I thought. Instead of a squirrel it was a sparrow that had somehow swooped in and became trapped inside. Thankfully it did not take long for it to discover the opened door and return safely to its natural habitat.
With the passing of time I had no need to recall the episode of the bird getting in my car until sometimes later when I looked over my shoulder as I traveled along. It was then that I noticed something that caught my eye—I saw an object that appeared furry and nestled against a shopping bag on the seat behind me. It did not seem possible that some varmint could have survived in my car for several weeks. Or could it happen? Whatever it was, it did not seem to be moving—at least that is what I convinced myself of—so I kept traveling until I could safely stop and investigate it more closely.
Life is filled with a lot of puzzling things that are impossible for our human minds to comprehend. And there are surprises, uncertainties, and disappointments along the way that make us wonder what the future holds. Yet in the midst of it all, we can rest assured of the dependability of God to guide us through the twists and turns of life.
When we find ourselves in the midst of the uncertainties and disappointments of life, there will be onlookers to see how we respond when we walk through the unpleasant and sometimes fiery trials along life’s way. In the Book of Philippians, the Bible gives us some guidance on how we should respond to the distasteful experiences that we encounter: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (2:14-15, New International Version).
It can be quite a challenge to face the tough places of life without complaining, yet we can rest assured that when God directs us to behave in a certain way He will give us the enablement to do so. He will help us let our lights shine so others can see His presence at work within us.
So what about the furry object on the car seat? It turned out to be one of my wife’s fuzzy gloves! Sometimes the uncertainties and surprises of life are not nearly as bad as they appear to be at the moment in which they occur.