Just that morning in our men’s book study class where we are reading Plan B by Pete Wilson, we’d discussed the things that paralyze us with fear and why does that still happen to grown men. We agreed we worried more when our wives or family were on a road trip without us than if we ourselves were driving. Being the driver brings a bit of confidence to react and get out of jams. None of us said this out of arrogance, or the delusion that men are better drivers, but rather as our way of coping with manly responsibilities in an uncertain world. As in, if I am driving at least I have an opportunity to avoid the danger, but if someone else is driving all I can do is worry.
And then, before the day was over, one of our own was driving east on I-20 toward Ft. Worth, with his wife and son, when he hydroplaned across a rain puddle and flipped his Explorer into the service road barrow ditch. His family was uninjured, but the vehicle was totaled. It happened so quickly, in a blink.
Clark hinted at the scariest part of the accident for most men when he texted, “… there’s the fact that God protected my family when I could not.” That’s not an easy or painless lesson for husbands and fathers to learn. While we are grateful for God’s protection, we are hurt that we ourselves could do so little.
In my book, Remodeled, I told the story of the time my 5-year-old son was hit by a car while riding his bike. I was riding my own bike three feet behind him when it happened. I wrote: “I worked hard at being a good dad, but even if I drilled my children on the rules of the road and coached them how to ride in traffic, they were still vulnerable to crazy people driving too fast. Bad things happen to good people even when good people do the right thing. My inability to protect my son was frightening.”
We get frightened because there is that residual voice in our head telling us we are all alone, it’s all up to us.
After hearing about the rollover I texted Clark: “Two possible reactions: (1) I trusted God with my family and he let this happen to us; (2) I trusted God with my family and he protected us.”
Both paths of analyzing the crash are defensible, and for most of us, both ways live in our mind at all times. How do we chose? Are we deceiving ourselves, seeing God's hand when it’s nothing more than random disaster?
But faith is more than a choice; it is a gift from God. The fact that we even have a choice, that we are not doomed to cynicism, is a gift.
We see God’s rescue because we look down the path of faith. And that very faith is a gift from God. Unless he gives us faith, we have no choice but to see rollovers as proof that we are alone. Our hearts will glow angry and bitter
God has given us a gift of faith to see his hand among the Plan Bs and stave off bitterness that poisons the soul. But seeing the world through the eyes of faith requires practice on our part. We have to choose how we’ll see. We have to choose a trail.
And so, my challenge to you today: choose the path of faith. Make it your daily practice.
“I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32