Any of you who travel often know the hazards of eating and driving. I average around 50,000 miles a year on the roadways of our great nation, however please do not assume I am reflected in the following New York Times study… Hot coffee, dripping ice cream cones, Big Gulp sodas, super-sized French fries and burgers with the works are being devoured behind the wheel at never seen before rates. Accidents produced by said activities involve, spilling drinks, grease on the steering wheel, trying to prevent a spill, attempting to clean a mess caused by a spill or drip, food that requires more than one hand to consume; such as salads, tacos or soups (can you believe it?) and finally, trying to recover dropped food, such as fries. Hagerty Classic Insurance, based in Traverse City, Mich., has studied the foods most commonly eaten in cars and has ranked them by popularity, degree of distraction and degree of difficulty in eating them with one hand on the wheel. (No, I did NOT participate in that study) Here, ranked from bad to worse, are the foods and the hazards they create: Chocolate, Soft Drinks, Filled Doughnuts, Fried Chicken… Again, I am NOT reflected in this study!” Barbecue, Juicy Hamburgers, OK That does reflect me! Chili-dogs and sloppy Joes, Tacos, and finally Coffee! This is definitely me! “Coffee spills are the worst because the drivers invariably try to make instant cleanups while driving,” the insurance company says. Point being class, spoons, knives and forks are correct tools for eating, not steering wheels!
So, what are the right tools for the spiritual appetites of life? First off I would say the tool of Studying God’s Word. According to James Hamilton, there are two kinds of Bible readers—those who skim the surface and those who dig deep. He describes them by comparing them to two common insects. He writes, “One is remarkable for its imposing plumage, which shows in the sunbeams like the dust of gems; as you watch its jaunty gyrations over the fields and its minuet dance from flower to flower, you cannot help admiring its graceful activity, for it is plainly getting over a great deal of ground. “But in the same field there is another worker, whose brown vest and businesslike, straightforward flight may not have arrested your eye. His fluttering neighbor darts down here and there, and sips elegantly wherever he can find a drop of ready nectar; but this dingy plodder makes a point of alighting everywhere, and wherever he alights he either finds honey or makes it. If the flower-cup be deep, he goes down to the bottom; if its dragon- mouth be shut, he thrusts its lips asunder; and if the nectar be peculiar, he explores all about till he discovers it … His rival of the painted velvet wing has no patience for such dull and long-winded details … The one died last October. The other is warm in his hive, amidst the fragrant stores he has gathered.” Which type of Bible reader are you? Butterfly or bee? Secondly I would recommend the Godly counsel of others. Someone once said, the trouble with good advice is that it usually interferes with your plans. The writer of Proverbs tells us, “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver… He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good… Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established;” Though when a Godly person shares advice seasoned with God’s love then we are truly benefited. Lastly I am drawn to the tool of Prayer. William Barclay wrote, when we pray, remember: The love of God that wants the best for us. The wisdom of God that knows what is best for us. The power of God that can accomplish it. Sir George Adam Smith tells how he and his guide were climbing the Weisshorn in the Swiss Alps. It was stormy and they were making their climb on the sheltered side of the peak. When they reached the summit, they were filled with the exhilaration. Sir George forgot about the fierce winds, leaped up and was nearly blown over the edge to the glacier below! The guide grabbed hold of him and exclaimed: “On your knees, sir. You are safe here only on your knees!” And so are we as will live for Christ. My favorite author on the subject of prayer is E.M. Bounds. Here are a few of his words, “The central significance of prayer is not in the things that happen as results, but in the deepening intimacy and unhurried communion with God at His central throne of control in order to discover a sense of God’s need in order to call on God’s help to meet that need” So the question regarding your spiritual life is, are you using the right tools for the job?
Tim Throckmorton is the former Executive Pastor of the Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace Ohio and the Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace, Ohio. He is currently the Senior Pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio.