Not long after I got my first job, I was driving home on the expressway. This is the expressway where the speed limit is 75 mph, but if you drive 75, you will get blown off the road. I spent a lot of time commuting – – two to three hours a day – – in my little black Corolla. I had a cool pop off radio that my dad bought me so I would have a CD player in the car. I listened to Tony Evans and Bob Barns. I bonded with DJs and even learned to recognize stranger’s cars by their bumper stickers. I didn’t have a cell phone yet. So I keep listening to CDs and radio shows to escape from adult reality on my long commute.
These were the single days. I was in a relationship but on my own most of the time working and commuting. I lived with my grandma and grandpa to be somewhat close to work and drove home to my mom’s on the weekends. It was a surreal time. I was spending a huge amount of time reading the word, evangelising at gas stations and just about anywhere that little car would take me. Fasting, Wednesday church, Sunday church . . . It was a really special time for me and God.
At the same time, my friends were also working at their new jobs. Everyone is getting a taste of the fast lane through the lives of partners and clients at their law firms. It is not long before many of us were signing leases at upcoming condos on Brickell and South Beach. Lunch at Capital Grille. (Dinner is still too expensive.) Moving on from used cars to new cars. Big engagement rings, fancy wedding plans. The first review, presumably, with the first raise.
I was in a vacuum at the time – – a good vacuum. In a way, boxed into where I was at, but in a good way. At the same time, I looked around me at times. Not wholly sure what was next or fully sure of where I was going. But God was filling me and I just kept trucking along in the Corolla. So, let me bring you back to the expressway on which I was constantly commuting. Remember, if you are driving less than 85/90, you are getting blown off the road. I hear God nudging me to slow down – – way down – – 45/50 down. I do this and what I see are cars all around me flashing by. It is a really beautiful hour – the sun is down, but it is not dark yet. I have a slow motion moment where I feel like I can see the cars going by really well almost like I am intended to have the view from last place in a race. While all of this is happening, God says to me – – Sometimes Christians feel like life is passing them by, but I am just giving them perspective. I love that evening. I love those words. I get last place. I love that God has a purpose and a plan for those who don’t mind being in last place.
Bindu gets it too. She said yesterday, So I get it. I know how it feels when you feel like everyone is passing you by…when you have to deal with the sympathetic, curious looks from not-so-tactful relatives who also have the ability to ask downright obnoxious questions. When you, too, are left with wondering where God is and if He cares, and sometimes in those desperate moments, whether He even really exists.
He does exist and He has this overwhelmingly fruitful, joyful, peaceful life for those who love Him. In His economy, last is first. Don’t lose sight of the power of life passing you by. It is your God, your Lord who has your life in the palm of his hands. He is playing out His great and mighty plan for your life on His time line. Be last. The fruit, joy and peace are spoken into you at the very same time the world is passing you by. Breathe. Take in what He has for you. You will find yourself rejoicing for the good work He has done in you. You will see that whatever has passed you by holds far less worth than power set in you. Be last.