We’re spending a few weeks with my in-laws. It’s been awhile since we enjoyed a summer in Maine. Having lived in Southern California for the past four years, the differences are rather striking. Of course, It’s certainly a lot greener here, and rainier too.
In fact, the weather is much more of a “thing” in this part of the country. I had forgotten how much could hinge on the forecast. I can’t tell you the last time I gave much of a thought to the sky’s behavior, beyond what time the sun would rise or set. Where we live, the temperature doesn’t vary much at all, and the precipitation is even less impactful most of the year.
But in the eight days since we’ve arrived, I’ve found myself routinely at the mercy of the sky’s escapades. I’m not sure if it’s my age or the fact that it’s just so so quiet here (seriously, it’s so quiet I can hear all the bugs buzzing around me, but I digress). The point is I’ve had more time to think, more time to notice things.
One of the things I’ve noticed is a particular feature of my mother-in-law’s car. As I was driving it, I kept hearing this beeping. After considering several possible causes, I finally determined the car will beep whenever you get close to the middle line, to keep you from drifting into oncoming traffic. (By the way, I tested it quite a few times and can vouch for the fact that it functions exactly as advertised.)
The more it beeped at me, the more I wondered if I didn’t need such a feature in my life as a Christ-follower. The writer of Hebrews implores us to be steadfast, repeatedly reminding us that what we first believed about Jesus is true and hasn’t changed.
"It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off."—Hebrews 2:1-4 (The Message)
Instead, it’s us who change. It doesn’t happen suddenly, at least not at first. It’s a very slow drift, much like I experienced in the car. I was simply driving along the same road I’d traveled at least hundreds, if not thousands, of times before. The only difference, this time, was the beeping. It forced me to confront the straightness, or lack thereof, of my path.
In the days since, I’ve been praying particular prayers of gratitude and petition. Gratitude for God’s Word, which provides an ever-present, unchanging, readily-available drift-detection system. And petitions that I would always be accepting of the people God places in my life who draw attention to those beeps, helping me keep a firm grip on where I’m headed.