Wednesday, October 18, 2017

9-1-1, What's Your Emergency?

Last week, I flew to Spokane, Washington and rented a car to drive to Libby, Montana where I was to minister for several days. The forecast was for snow during part of my stay so I was concerned with the three-hour drive I would have through the Rocky Mountains.

At the rental car desk, I asked if they had any all-wheel-drive vehicles. The desk clerk said they had one left. It was a hopped up Chrysler 300. The car was amazing. It had leather-heated seats, a big growly motor and a navigational system with a large screen display. It had way more bells and whistles than my 8-year-old Subaru Impreza. I felt I was sitting behind the command console of a Star Trek spacecraft.

Before I drove out of the rental lot, I took a few minutes to figure out the basic systems of the car just to be able to drive it. It had a push button start which seemed weird to me. Once I figured out how to move forward, I drove out of the rental lot into a slushy rain that was trying to become snow. The more I drove the car, the more I liked it. It had loads of power. I felt macho.

Somewhere between Sandpoint and Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, the bright headlights of a car behind me became annoying. I reached up to flip my rearview mirror like I do on my Subaru. What I did not realize was that a 9-1-1 emergency button was located on the mirror. When I hit the button a loud voice came on the speaker, “9-1-1, What's your emergency!” I yelled, “I don’t have an emergency. This is a rental car!” The screen on the navigational display started flashing an emergency message and making an alarm sound. I frantically started pushing every button on the dashboard and by the mercy of God, it somehow all stopped. My machismo drained out somewhere along the northbound lanes of Highway 95 just south of Bonner's Ferry. For the remaining two hours of my drive to Libby, I had time to think as I drove deeper into the mountains and as my heart rate and blood pressure slowly returned to normal.

Sometimes we create our own emergencies. Things happen that we did not intend to happen all because we pushed the wrong button. We can easily believe lies about the people we love and push the button of rejection. We can feel like the world is falling apart and end up pushing the button of hopelessness. We can push the button of assumption on all kinds of issues and create problems where no problem exists. Just like I did in the rental car, you need to find the button that set off all the alarms and disengage it to return your life back to a healthy place.

Have you hit the wrong emotional button lately? Just like it was when you hit the wrong button and set off the alarms of fear you can just as easily hit that same button and disengage yourself from the fruit of your mistake. It will make the remainder of the drive of your life a lot more enjoyable when all the alarms and false warnings finally go silent and you can return to the peaceful sound of God’s goodness. 

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