Rear View

I was headed down the main road of my subdivision today when I saw a black truck, obviously exceeding the speed limit, coming toward me from the opposite direction. He had something bundled under a tarp in the back of the truck and I wondered if it could explain the excessive speed. I decided to try to get a better look as he sped past. Rather than whip my head around to see behind me, I tried taking a glance in my rearview mirror, which didn’t work out too well because… (wait for it…) I was walking.

I immediately began justifying my insanity with the defense that we should have rear view vision, even if we, in fact, don’t. Think of all the benefits: failed zombie attacks, credibility to the eyes-in-the-back-of-her-head suspicion of moms everywhere, no more injuries caused by missed chairs or raised toilet seats in the middle of the night (injury to my husband that is). The list is endless. In fact, as I pondered the practicality of it, the scripture passage my son and I read yesterday came to mind. (I’ve used this before in case you weren’t paying attention!)

And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.” Joshua 4:20-24

You’ll have to read the context of the back story for yourself, but notice what God said here in “Melissa-translation”. He said, “Check the rear view.” He wanted them to remember both the mistakes they had made – or rather that their parents had made – and the lessons they had learned about God’s faithfulness. If we had spiritual rear view vision, we could avoid letting things sneak up on us and take us by surprise. We would see the ambush coming in time to prepare and recall how God rescued us the last time we were blind-sided. And we would never ever doubt His presence or His activity in our lives. It would be there in the rear view. 

As the Lord was preparing this post for me today even before I got here, I had a conversation with my son about my salvation story. As I retold it for his 15-year-old ears I could hear it anew myself. The wonder of it took my breath away and has left me pensively humbled all afternoon. This is spiritual rear view vision. It is a mark on the passing landscape that I can see only in hind sight, but one that bears looking back upon because it equips me for where I’m going.

There is nothing stopping us from harnessing this super-power except ourselves, so let’s commit to putting up a few standing stones in our spiritual rear view and taking note of both the threats impending and lessons learned. Tell your stories (His stories). Write them down. Mount a sticky-note campaign. Pile up some rocks on the kitchen windowsill. Remember. Recall. Reflect on the rear view. 

Post script – I realize I left you hanging a little with that opening bit. What was in the truck?! Why was he driving so fast?! Can’t tell you…couldn’t see it. No rear view. Sorry. (Insert sheepish shrug here.) 

Post post script – I also just noticed the pattern between my last post and this one. Funny how God sometimes works by theme. No idea what it means except to repeat the verse that comes to mind…with my emphasis.

You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:5-6