Have you ever got so used to something not working that when it actually does work you are taken by surprise? You know, that printer that jams every time you use it or your husband that carries a cell phone in case you need to get a hold of him, but forgets to turn it on or to charge it… You get the picture. Today I had a pleasant surprise as we were driving up to one of the busiest intersections near us the lights were actually working! This is the same intersection that hasn’t had working lights for at least four months (the team from Brantford can testify to this because they had the pleasure of experiencing grid lock you have never seen in North America at that intersection a number of times –in fact one of them told Dave that normally he would have been scared to death of driving through that intersection if it hadn’t been for Dave being so calm and just taking it as a commonplace experience as he drove through all of the traffic.) I know that the only way that I have made it through that intersection a number of times is by prayer and the grace of God. So it was indeed a pleasure to find it operating, maybe even sweeter because it seemed like so many other things were going wrong this morning.
It was interesting to watch the other drivers respond to the light though, there were a number of them that didn’t expect to find it operating and nearly charged right into on coming traffic (that is the typical way to deal with no lights, you assume that you have the right of way for at least the first half of the intersection and then keep nosing forward into the second half until you are through!). But luckily, they like us, realized just in time that there was not only a light there but it was working.
Sometimes I think that this is the approach we have to the Bible. Those of us who have grown up in the church assume we know what it says and how a certain passage is going to apply to our lives—afterall didn’t we memorize part of that chapter in Sunday school when we were kids? We think we know how it is going to work, so we ask God to speak to us as we try to fit some bible study into our busy schedules, but don’t really expect that He will. There are times that God will just allow that to continue, but we are the ones that are missing out of the deeper meanings that come from reading and re-reading and listening to what He has to say. Then there are other times that God will use something to get our attention, maybe a sermon, a song or even illness that makes us slow down and realize that maybe life isn’t quite the way we originally expected. I would like to propose a remedy for a dry bible study—get to know a new Christian, or a “future” Christian and talk to them about what you have been reading. It is amazing how the most familiar passages will take on new meaning and the context around some of those passages may surprise you.