[PhilThreeten] 11/09/2006 12:58:00 PM

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Nov 9, 2006, 1:02:35 PM11/9/06
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I think one of the funniest parts of any movie ever is in ‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.’ The movie features Steve Martin and John Candy as two men trying to get beyond a host of unbelievable events in an attempt to make their way home for the holidays. It’s a classic comedy.

At one point in the movie Martin and Candy are driving along the highway late at night. Both are tired and unwittingly lost. Additionally, they are driving the wrong way on the highway. Two people in a car on the other side of the highway roll down their window shouting to Martin and Candy that they are going the wrong way. Martin and Candy laugh about what the people are saying, thinking that they’ve been drinking. Candy has the classic line – ‘How can they know we’re going the wrong way – they don’t even know where we’re going!’

In a far more serious manner, the whole Ted Haggard debacle reminds me of this movie. Ben Witherington has an excellent post about how something like this seems so often to hit men in their 40’s and 50’s. His article got me thinking…

How is it that we get ourselves embroiled in these messes? How is it that we allow sin to so insidiously creep into our lives? What are we thinking when we in full rebellion towards God leap into sin that we know isn’t even close to His will for our lives?

Understand this – I’m not talking about Ted Haggard. I’m talking about all of us. We are all encumbered with the flesh and it wars against our souls – seeking to do things which are so clearly not how God would have us live. What are we thinking?

So…let me put myself out there. When I am in this state I’m going the wrong way. I’m not thinking about how my sin is so easily spread to every life that I touch (Haggai 2:10-14). I don’t think about the impact it will have on my wife – my children – the people I work with - the people who serve with me in my church ministry – my neighbors. I don’t think about any of these people. I’m going the wrong way

I don’t think about how the consequences of small sins have a tendency to grow far beyond their original measure – much like yeast. About how a fix of relief from ‘the new’ leads to a life imprisoned by materialism. About how a wandering eye leads to an alter ego that appears revolting even to oneself. About how the assuaging of grief with the pleasure of blessed food becomes an addiction as bad as any drug. I don’t think about these things. I’m going the wrong way.

I don’t think about how one day I will stand before my Savior, holding before Him the talents He has given me. Some I have invested well. Some I have not even buried but instead have selfishly spent upon myself. I don’t think about what my Savior will say then. I’m going the wrong way.

I find myself going in the exact opposite direction than I should be. Rather than looking ahead and seeing the outcome of what my sins will be, I find myself looking backwards - wishing that somehow, through my sins, I could return to days gone by. Return to days when I could spend indiscriminately without worry of payment because ‘someone’ would get me out of my debts. Return to days when the appeasement of my hormones was matched with opportunities for appeasement. Return to days when somehow my metabolism worked overtime so I could eat anything and still lose weight. But in all these pursuits, I’m going the wrong way.

Of course, when I look back on those days, I see the irresponsibility of my actions. Debt catches up and if people love you, they will eventually not bail you out. There are consequences to promiscuity. Metabolism is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card for an unhealthy treatment of God’s temple.

If I’m going the right way, I’m moving towards spiritual maturity. I begin to see life from a broader perspective. I see the consequences of sinful desires, bad choices, and dumb behavior – and hopefully, combined with the knowledge that the Holy Spirit can empower me to be Christlike, I will leave those things behind.

I’ve been challenged in all this – which way am I going?

Categories: Thinking

Posted by PhilThreeten to PhilThreeten at 11/09/2006 12:58:00 PM
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