I live near one of the worst intersections on the planet, Higley & Warner in Gilbert, Arizona. I approach that intersection fully convinced that everyone approaching it wants to kill me. I’ve been cut off, swerved around and almost t-boned a thousand times at that crossing. I usually show them THE WRATH OF RYAN by glaring up and them (it’s always up because of my Honda Civic).
One guy ran a red light the other day doing about 60mph… he wasn’t paying attention, probably Tweeting about how awesome he is, and he slammed his breaks about 5 seconds too late. If we hadn’t slammed our breaks we might be dead. I wanted to chase him down, but Lindsay and Griffin were in the car… oh, and I’m a pastor.
But that’s what I should do next time it happens. The next time I’m cut off I should follow the guy home, wait until he go inside, walk over to his car…. and wash it. Yep, wash it. If he leaves the door open I should vacuum and Fabreze the inside.
Then I’ll probably pull some weeds and mow his front yard, maybe paint his house, prune his trees and wash his windows. I may ask if I can run and get him and his family some dinner, which I’ll pay for. If the guy has kids, I’ll offer to pay for their college educations at any school they’d like. If he needs a kidney transplant I’ve got good news: I have two kidneys!
How absolutely ridiculous would that response be? Nobody would ever do that. They’d chase that guy down and beat him mercilessly, right? If they waited until he went inside it would only be so that they could slash his tires and throw a brick through his living room window.
How absolutely ridiculous is it that God’s response to my intentional betrayal is forgiveness and invitation?! How completely ridiculous is it that every time I sin, his grace abounds even more (Romans 5:20)? His response to my sin is more and more grace and generosity.
As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s the story we live in.
How could I follow that man home and hurt him when I have committed infinitely worse crimes against a perfect God, who responded by hanging on a cross to display his unlimited mercy and generosity for us?
Remember that the next time you’re cut off in traffic.