Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Crashing Cars in Reverse at 60 Miles an Hour

Suggested Reading: Job 38:1-4, 40:1-6 (or the whole conversation in Job 38-42)

I haven't seen the movie in years, but Ferris Bueller's Day Off is one of those movie classics. I don't really remember much about the movie but I do remember that toward the end the boys were trying to run a car in reverse in order to take the mileage off dad's car. A car that they weren't supposed to have borrowed in the first place. Instead, if I remember correctly, the mechanism they had the car suspended on gave out and the car ended up driving in reverse right out of the garage and getting smashed up pretty bad. I don't remember how they resolved it but I remember thinking, Getting in trouble for smashing the car is going to be a lot worse than the trouble they would have gotten in for just taking it for a drive without permission.

Throughout the book of Job, Job is consistent and right in denying that God is punishing him for sin. But Job does assume that God has turned against him for one reason or another, which is wrong. Job repeatedly complains that he should be able to plead his case with God, even knowing that God is clever enough to be able to justify anything God wants to do. Job speaks truthfully about God by refusing to say God is punishing him for sin, but Job in his ignorance falsely accuses God of turning against him. Finally, God shows up, pointing out numerous examples of Job's inability to comprehend what God does and Job responds, "You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance? ’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me" (Job 42:3, NLT).

Standing before God in all his majesty, I wonder if we would be able to do anything else but own up to our own shortcomings even though we often refuse to acknowledge them in our every day lives. The boss wants to know who misplaced that report and we refuse to speak up and say, "That was me." We forget to pay the electric bill and try to tell the customer service person, "I don't remember getting a bill this time." We spread a rumor, thinking we are telling the truth and when the person affected comes asking we say, "I don't know where people got that idea." While the consequences of such actions may not be immediately evident, eventually we end up crashing a car that's going in reverse at 60 miles an hour. Job, in his wisdom, knew better. "Who was questioning your wisdom in ignorance? I'm sorry, Lord. That was me."

Owning up to our mistakes can be scary and come with consequences, but we'll be better off than trying to hide from them. We'll be better people, too.

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