In the world, and certainly here in New Mexico, chaos is erupting. It seems as though the world is on fire with the violence in the Middle East, fighting in our nation’s capitol, and all sorts of issues in our state (an odd legislative session, late-term abortions, abuse of all kind, and stolen dogs).
Recently I witnessed, and was first on the scene, of a car accident on a two-tracker road heading up to the hilltop town of Los Alamos. If you’ve ever been to this small community via Main Hill road, you remember the scenic road flanked by 30-40 feet cliffs reaching heavenward on one side and a dramatic canyon with deep drops on the other. Thank God for guardrails! When an accident happens in this locale, chaos ensues simply due to the mountainside logistics.
When I reached the driver he was visibly shaken after losing control and crashing into the cliff. After ascertaining that he wasn’t seriously injured he shared that his front passenger side tire had gone off the edge of the asphalt. From what I observed, that must’ve been what caused him to lose control, spin, and hit the cliff. I’m pretty sure I detected a British accent, so it is possible he was unfamiliar with the winding road connecting the nearby valley to my mountaintop community. He probably misjudged his speed or was distracted coming out of a dramatic turn.
Traffic flow dictated that I continue my way up to Los Alamos, but shortly after speaking to 911 I passed two police cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck racing to the scene. And, as usual, traffic was interrupted and the unavoidable “emergency vehicles on a two-tracker” chaos was underway.
“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing,” (Luke 23:24).
In the same way that someone who isn’t familiar with driving on Main Hill road can have an accident and usher in chaos, the world works the same way. Much of the chaos the world experiences is because people don’t know what they are doing . . . they don’t know any better. Yes, some people are evil, but when Jesus uttered the above words, even He recognized that many people just don’t know any better when they do unacceptable things. As we pray for New Mexico we need to follow His example. Much of the darkness resting on the Land of Enchantment like a heavy wool blanket is because people “do not know what they are doing.”
When it comes to unbelievers, they do not claim to follow Jesus and cannot be expected to walk under God’s umbrella of wisdom. We need to pray that they will seek forgiveness from Jesus so that they can begin to understand his ways (which are not of chaos). However, we also have plenty of citizens in our state claiming to be Christian, yet they choose not to walk their path under God’s umbrella. They leave a wake of chaos wherever they go because they pick and choose what aspects of God’s Word they will honor. In many cases, it’s because they don’t know any better. We need to pray for their forgiveness.
Yes, I am all for justice and so is Jesus. However, Jesus prayed for forgiveness for others, and so should we. Does my flesh want to pray for people who do awful things? NO. Do I get aggravated with people who claim to follow Jesus, yet their deeds and words don’t match up? OF COURSE. But doing the right things isn’t always the easiest, and if we can do what Jesus did, that is a step toward ending chaos and ushering in peace.
Honoring the Road
How can we lessen the affects of chaos in our state? It’s a lot like Main Hill. Most accidents on this winding, climbing two-way road could be avoided by:
- Honoring the posted speeds. They became the speeds because knowledgeable people determined the best speeds for the terrain.
- Not passing other vehicles. This road is not made for passing. Period.
- Keeping eyes on the road. There is a huge temptation to sneak a peek at the incredible scenery (or perhaps texting), but wait until you are a passenger not the driver.
We can lessen the affects of chaos in our homes, communities, and state by praying that others be forgiven which will also cause them to seek to “know better”. Everyone, everywhere fares better when chaos is kept to a minimum. How can we operate under God’s umbrella of wisdom?
- Honor His Words. They are not idle words–they were created with the human condition in mind.
- Do not try to by-pass them. The Father knows best. We abandon peace and leave a wake of chaos when we choose to pass his words like they are a slow moving car.
- Keep your eyes on Him! Avoid the inevitable temptation of looking this way or that. Distraction leads to destruction.
We All Need It
Forgiveness. We all need it. None of us are perfect, so forgiveness it is! We need to seek forgiveness for ourselves and others — even those we would rather kick in the shin. I know, strong words because some people are vile, but Jesus prayed for others instead of kicking them. (Leaders who allow evil by not standing against it. People who cause heartache because they do evil.) Yes, some people are outright evil, but other do not know what they are doing because they don’t know Jesus OR His forgiving love. We all need it, and those of us who DO know it, need to pray for those who DON’T.
Yes, we need to pray, New Mexico.
- Pray for non-believers to see the Light so they may know better.
- Pray that believers will unite under God in word and deed.
- Ask for the grace to pray in love for those we could easily distain due to their actions.
- Be thankful that the LOVE of Jesus will guide us when we pray for and experience those who still need to find His ultimate forgiveness.
Pray has the power to usher IN forgiveness and usher OUT chaos.
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