Take a listen to this week’s song “PeaceDriver”!

Sunday morning we were in a hurry to get to church and were looking forward to worshiping God with fellow Christ-followers at the place that has been our temporary home the past three months. Lately, there has been a lot of stress in our lives as we prepared and kept our house clean and ready for sale in anticipation of our ministry relocation. This past weekend was no exception, with several showings of our house, including a few on Sunday. We had to get the house ready for showings before we left for church, which put us right on the cusp of getting to the church on time. I prayed for green lights, and we started down the road. However, God wanted to shine His light on something else in me instead.

As we came to a major intersection, I waited at a red light in one of two left turn lanes. I chose the one closest to the entrance ramp that we would soon have to use so I wouldn’t have to cut in front of anyone to get onto our ramp. As we waited, a silver car pulled up in the turn lane next to us and started crawling out into the intersection during the red light. I was shocked to see the car almost fully in the intersection well before the light turned green. It bothered me— to be honest, more than it should. When the light turned green, the car sped out of the intersection and then cut in front of our car. I had one of those “what do you think you’re doing?” moments and quickly flashed my lights as the silver car raced onto the ramp that we were also about to use. The car was soon out of sight way down the road, and it took me some time to settle down.

Ironically, there was road construction on the freeway and traffic slowed down. When we reached the red light at the top of the exit ramp that took us towards our church, I was surprised to see that the same silver car in front of me.  My wife and I talked, and I tried not to think about what had happened several miles back as we proceeded toward our church, even as the car remained only a few cars ahead of us, heading in the same direction.   You may have seen this coming, but I didn’t: The same silver car turned into our church’s parking lot! A young woman drove to the front entrance, even as my wife and I parked in our usual spot some distance away. This person was a sister in Christ. At that moment God reminded me that it is not my place to judge others, but to show His grace and love even when people do things that wrong or bother us.

The first song during worship was “Your Grace is Enough.” I felt the conviction of God on my sinful attitude. Rather than singing, I remained silent and asked God to forgive me of the momentary anger I displayed earlier in flashing my lights. I prayed for the young woman whose car we never saw again—even though I looked for her car after the service.  As the song went on, God reminded me, that His “grace is enough for me,” even in those moments when I fail. I felt God’s grace wash over my shame with forgiveness and love.

I am still praying for that woman, wondering what circumstances or pressure weighed heavy on her that morning. During the service, Jesus’ words came to mind:

“I do not condemn you. Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”
John 8:11

I asked God to take hold of my emotions, and renew my mind with His grace and mercy, especially when I am driving. This verse is one of my favorites:

“Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12: 2 The Message

Here’s the brutal truth: Even those of us who truly worship God can stumble in our walk. However, here is the greater, transforming Truth: We are covered and forgiven in and by the person of Jesus Christ, as John once wrote”

“ My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:12

Several years ago I wrote this song as a personal prayer. Last weekend I was reminded I still need this prayer this each time I drive.  I’m sharing it with you in the hopes that it helps you in your commute.

A life of worship includes every moment of our day, including our time with other people on the roads we travel.

God bless you!

Chris Atkins