“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”
Proverbs 4:25 ESV
It was a typical summer morning, birds were chirping at the farm and the sun was out. It looked to me like a beautiful opportunity to take my 1977 MGB, aka “Mr. Peters”, out for a spin. It had been three months since I had started the car and I guess you’re supposed to start the engine every few weeks for classic cars.
I was excited as I opened the bay door to our shop. The car started after four turns, which was great! I backed out of the shop and drove about a mile from the house when I noticed the gear shift looked different. It seemed this brand new gear knob had claw marks or scratches all over it. I immediately thought of my nieces and nephews, as they were at our farm for the 4th of July, but it didn’t seem like something they would do. I kept driving, and at that time I was at a rate of 50 miles per hour on our two lane country road. As I looked down again to investigate the knob, it happened...
I saw something I will never forget, something I am the most scared of. To the right of my right hand, I saw a glaring creature with whiskers, beady eyes, and a small gray with white stripe frame. It was a mouse! This little guy ran out from under the passenger seat and up and down the passenger floorboard several times trying to find a place to hide. With each lap he took, I let out a loud death scream. I tried to remain calm as I attempted to pull over, which literally means trying to find a driveway long enough to pull in on the back roads of Norman. All I remember was screaming frantically running out of my car, praying that the mouse wouldn’t crawl on me! I was scared to death!
If you know anything about MGB’s, you know they are tiny cars, so seeing a mouse on the passenger side floorboard is like seeing one right next to your right arm! It was so close to me I think it’s fur brushed against my skin, not for certain about that, it all happened so fast. I called Jared immediately, crying and yelling for him to come and get this car. He was laughing while at the drive thru window at Dunkin Donuts. Really? All I said to him was, forget the donuts, come get your wife and this car! Of course at that point I knew he was already close to work. In that moment came the realization,
I was doing this alone....
Ignorance is bliss, and I truly believe that statement! But knowing you are right next to a mouse and you have to drive it home, is not bliss. I remember going as fast as that little British car could go while having Jared on speaker phone as I entered our gate entrance. I was praying the gate would move faster, but it takes thirty seconds to open, which seemed like eternity. When I finally parked, all I remember was getting out as fast as I could and running inside to get my other set of car keys. I was ready to sell the car and never look back.
You know, it finally dawned on me, I always check for mouse droppings before I go anywhere in my old car. The reason I do is to see if there is evidence of an unwelcome guest. This day I didn’t. After parking the car and getting my second set of keys, I looked and saw evidence in the back seat. If I would have looked closer, chances are I would have skipped that joy ride.
I believe every believer goes through the same thing. I’m not saying we all have a mouse experience in our vehicles, but we do miss looking for the evidence of an unwelcome guest. We miss glaring signs that if we were sensitive and paid more attention to the details of life, we would miss many heartaches.
For Isaiah 42:20, ESV, tells us this; “He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear.”
I have read this a thousand times until it hit me the other day. I’ve prayed, “Lord give me eyes to see You and ears to hear You.” There is nothing wrong with that prayer, but I believe I could be praying more along these lines, in a deeper way; “Lord give me eyes that see and observe You and ears that hear and give attention to You.” For we can see God do miracles, yet we don’t observe them. When we observe, we give an account to what He has done. It is something we remember and recount by memory because we have counted it as significant. Do we consider God’s work special enough to recount and remember? When we listen and give attention to God, we are leaning in. We are making it important enough to listen and bring awareness to it. Again, is that something we do when we hear our pastor’s message, Sunday school lesson or daily quiet time?
May we all observe and lean in on what God wants to share with us. Let us not miss the warning signs, the obvious signs that will save us from heartaches and the “unwelcome guests.” Let’s be aware, pay attention and be sensitive to sharing what God has done and will continue to do within and around us! Let’s walk in His Spirit and join in His work.
From a grateful guest,
A traveler just passing through...