Meditations of my Heart

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Rollin' Down Highway 41 . . ."

Matthew 7:1
"Do not judge, or you, too, will be judged."

I've been doing my fair share of rolling up and down Highway 41 recently.  My mother-in-law, who lives north of us in Cartersville, has three doctor appointments in Marietta this month.  My husband, Danny, and I don't want her driving herself all the way there and back.  It's too exhausting for her.  And, I'm more than happy to be her chauffer.

If you look at the map in the photo above, it is obvious that Interstate 75 parallels Highway 41.  Why don't I take the interstate route, you ask?  Frankly, expressways scare the living daylights out of me.  All those mad-dash, lane-changing drivers and the monstrous, lumbering 18-wheelers are definitely not my cup of tea!

That's one reason, among many, why I admire our friend and praise band bass player, Rob.  He drives big rigs for a living, and is on the interstates for days at a time.  He is, in my opinion, a veritable king of the road.


Not me.  In my tiny, silver Scion, I poke along the four-lane, uncrowded, twisting, winding 41s of the world.  Never exceeding the speed limit.  Praying hard when I know a bridge is coming up (detest these).  Glad, oh, so glad, that encounters with tractor-trailers are few and far between.


So, imagine my surprise and, I might add, no small bout of panic as I'm rolling down Highway 41 headed home, and a gargantuan, roaring 18-wheeler pulls up alongside me.  And, the driver blows his horn!  Repeatedly!!!

Fear grips me as hard as I grip the steering wheel.  "What?  You want to pass me?  Well, just pass me, you big bully!  I'll slow down and make it easy for you.  That's right.  You go on ahead.  Of all the nerve!  Picking on a defenseless, chipmunk-powered hatchback!"

I entertain some other choice terms to describe the driver, then quickly beg God's forgiveness.  But, I am angry.  Shaken.  Perplexed.  What was that all about?  I watch the truck barreling down the road in front of me with judgment in my heart.

That was Rob . . .

"Impossible!"  I tell the Voice in my head.  "He always takes the interstate.  It can't be Rob.  No way!"

No, dear, that WAS Rob . . .

My cell phone rings.  Not a chance I'll answer it while driving.  There is a pause before I hear the jingling tone which tells me I have a message.  That can wait the ten minutes or so until I reach the first stop light since leaving Cartersville.

When at last I connect with a red light, I fumble for the phone.  Yes, I have a voice mail.  Thinking it is probably Danny, I decide to check it.

"Hi, Martha, this is Rob.  Sorry I scared you back there.  Sure didn't mean to.  Just saw you ahead of me and wanted to catch up and wave to you.  Sure hope you can forgive me.  See you Sunday."

I am dumbfounded.  The Voice was right!

Once again, I find I am too quick to judge.

And, I am the one in need of forgiveness.
~
Have there been times when you have judged someone or something only to find out you were mistaken?

Will you pray with me?
Before we judge others, Father, give us Jesus' words in our hearts - that we are not to judge unless we, too, wish judgment upon ourselves.  Grant us the grace to see as You see when faced with situations we don't readily understand.  Guide us by Your infinite mercy to always seek and offer forgiveness to ourselves and others.  Amen.

38 comments:

  1. :D

    It happens so many times with each one of us - we tend to judge and misjudge so many things only to repent later on.

    But I am sure as long as it does not cause much harm He is smiling at us through them!

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    1. Thanks for visiting today, Me!
      Yes, we can all call "guilty" on that one, can't we? Yet, God truly does understand and loves us in spite of all our weaknesses and doubts and false judgments. What a relief that is!
      Blessings always!

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  2. Great story...I am not too keen on the tractor trailers on the highway either! Though, when they aren't around I love to just be able to have my car seemingly glide to our destination. I've definitely been there before...having judged too quickly...I can't remember a specific time but I know the feeling when one recognizes they've done so. I don't blame you for being scared when that happened though...I would have been too!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Jessica!
      Yes, I think all of us can identify with the "judging too quickly" though we all know we aren't supposed to go there. :) Thank goodness for a loving and forgiving God!
      So glad you enjoyed the post, my friend. Happy driving and blessings always!

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  3. Great story, just like your book (coming 2013). And Rob, he is immortalized forever now.

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    1. Lol, Danny! Glad you thought the story was good. Hope Rob reads it, too. :)
      Love you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Janu! So glad you liked the story. And, yes, those things do happen!
      Blessings always!

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  5. Martha you made me laugh! This is so me. I will take back roads over main when ever I can. I am also fearful of those big trucks and hate crossing bridges. My family tease me all the time because I still shudder alittle when I drive over the draw bridge to Smith Point beach,right around the corner from my home. I am proud of myself that I can now drive over it myself(not as a passenger) and I don't get quiezy,lol.They say I will never get off the Island cause I hate the bigger bridges and I won't drive in heavy traffic so I can't get to New York City either. I tell them if they drug me up so I sleep thru the ride I can go,lol.When I do get upset with someones crazy driving I try to remind myself that maybe they have an emergency at home to get to or are heading to the hospital for someone and it makes me pray for them to have a safe trip and not hurt anyone else along the way. I try! Doesn't always work,sometimes I forget and just get angry, but I get over it,no road rage for me.Have a great day and watch out for those big rigs,lol...Love ya, Gina

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Gina!
      Wow! :) It sounds like you and I are cut from the same mold. I'm so grateful that Danny doesn't mind driving and can get us down the expressways when necessary. But, even when he's at the wheel, I can still get nervous, especially when we pass those road-hogging trucks.
      It's funny you should mention the "crazy" drivers - had one almost cut me off today on my way to the gym. Yep! Out popped a choice word. :( I'll try your method of praying for them next time - a much healthier idea!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. P.S. I love the song references in your titles, they make me remember!Gina

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    1. Glad you like those. "Ramblin' Man" has been going through my head all week. Lol!

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  7. Martha,I have had that experience with Randy's cousin who drives as well. Very similar to yours, I admire a both Randy and frank for being on the road, especially I5, Portland and Seattle are no fun to drive at all. Randy always drives on our outings for the same reasons as yours, I am to insecure about the big roads. I am a country girl, no matter how long I have been in the "city". I love the way you write.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Jan!
      I'm glad to know I'm not the only one out there with a fear of the "Big Roads". :) It sounds like you depend on Randy as I do on Danny for those expressway adventures.
      And, thank you for the kind compliment, my friend; it is much appreciated!
      Blessings always!

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  8. Wonderful story Martha! I am not scared of driving but I must admit that it becomes more and more difficult at night. I would not like to encounter one of those big 18-wheelers day or night! Have a blessed week!

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    1. Thanks for visiting today, Nelieta!
      So glad you enjoyed the story. I never drive at night unless absolutely necessary either. The glare of headlights really gets to me. :)
      May you have a blessed week, too, my friend!

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  9. I was chuckling while reflecting on this yesterday because it happens to me almost all the time...the Lord says something and I brush it off ~ then something happens and I confess, 'Geez Lord, you were right.'

    From my experience, I judge others lamely because a) I'm tired and negative things cloud my mind; b) I don't know why but this person irks me; c) I cushion myself from further hurt/damage...

    And I think the basic lesson here is to learn to listen and trust God...

    I pray with you, Lord purify us everyday ~ help us to learn to carry Your yoke not ours. Open our hearts to trust You more.

    Thanks Martha :) I know I'll be more aware next time :)

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    1. So wonderful to see you here again, Melissa - thank you!
      Why am I not surprised? You and I share so much, why wouldn't we also share those moments when we second guess God's revelations to us? Yet, in our hearts, we know we need to listen - must listen!
      Judging is part of our human weakness. The Lord understands and will purify us every day when we turn our hearts to Him. Listening and trusting is the key, always!
      Love and blessings, dear one!

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  10. Last week I was driving west along 40 to New Mexico. I love the open road, it gives me time alone in my head to sort though the clutter and take a stab and assigning and prioritizing. I don't also take notice of the world or judge other in this inner state, mostly I come down to hard on myself, a little too harshly. Later, maybe a hundred or so miles down the road I ease on back. (sounds like your voice has your number :-) )

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Brenda!
      I envy your freedom of the highway. I would love to overcome this fear for the expressways, and I will work on it through prayer.
      Whatever gives you the time alone, the quiet time, in your head, is of immeasurable value. Find it and claim it, whenever and where ever you can!
      See you on Highway 41!
      Blessings always!

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  11. That can be frightening--I understand. Rob probably didn't even think that a huge truck like that can be scary to a driver of a small car. How nice that he wanted to say howdy!

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    1. Thank you for coming by, Galen!
      Yes, Rob is one of the those people with the biggest of hearts that you only pray to know. He has been a blessing to our praise band in so many ways. That I didn't realize his presence until after the fact betrays my fragility and humanity. God continues to teach . . .
      Blessings to you!

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  12. "What? You want to pass me? Well, just pass me, you big bully! I'll slow down and make it easy for you. That's right. You go on ahead. Of all the nerve! Picking on a defenseless, chipmunk-powered hatchback!"

    Just what Jesus would’ve said!
    LOL – xox

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    1. Oh, that chipmunk-powered car . . . And, how I love that "bully", our dear friend, Rob.
      Thanks so much for visiting, Debra, and know how much I appreciate your comments always!
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Great post, Martha. yes so often we are quick to judge people. God forgive us for that!

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    1. Thanks for coming by today, Rimly!
      And, yes, thank goodness for God's forgiveness!
      Blessings always!

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  14. Judging and driving --- two things that scare me. I am quick to judge almost always and after that I regret it so much. Praying and hoping and practicing to be calm and not judge.

    Lovely meditations for today.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Thanks for visiting today, Susan!
      As you say, "praying and hoping and practicing" are the ways we can overcome our inclinations to judge others too quickly. Something I know I need to work on! :)
      Glad you enjoyed this meditation.
      Blessings always!

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  15. Times without number that I've judged quickly only to be proven wrong, but not the incidents were not as dramatic as yours was, Martha! May we always learn to listen to the Voice, before we judge.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Corinne!
      Oh, yes, we need to heed the Voice much more often than we do. So easy to judge without thinking, isn't it?
      Blessings always!

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  16. Haha this was definitely an enjoyable read, Martha! And as always, this post speaks to my heart. "There is a reason why people do what they do." -- something I so often forget and leads me to pass judgment to people. It reminds me of the quote by Mother Teresa: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

    Thank you so much for the wonderful reminder, Martha! God bless and always take care when you drive! <3 :-)

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    1. Thanks for coming by today, Irene!
      Oh, I love the quote from Mother Teresa - that's the absolute truth! Thanks so much for sharing this in your lovely comment.
      Blessings always!

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  17. I can definitely relate to your post. unfortunately I have judged many times!!! working on it..smiles.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Annmarie!
      Oh, yes, we've all been there and done that, way too many times! I think it's something we never stop working on . . .
      Blessings always!

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  18. I can definitely relate to not wanting to drive a main highway and selecting s quieter longer route instead. In addition to being a great writer, you're a wonderful daughter. Blessings.

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    1. Thank you for coming by, Linda, and for your sweet comments! It's comforting to know I'm not alone in liking the highways and byways as opposed to the expressways.
      Blessings to you, too! :)

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  19. You are a great daughter and that was an excellent story. Practice makes perfect when it comes to the road, I think. You are becoming braver by the mile. :)

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  20. thanks for sharing this story Martha. we regularly judge people. sometimes, when someone makes me angry, I try to think about the what their life must be like at the moment. I try hard to give them the benefit of the doubt - they must be going through something difficult, having a bad day, stressed out, etc. that's one way that I try to understand others who are being angry or rude. and a good technique to reduce judgment of them:)

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