Slippery roads and following Jesus.

First published February 6, 2014

Like some of you, we’ve had an unusual amount of snowfall. We’ve had an unusual amount of driving on snowy or icy roads. Like some of you, we don’t own a four-wheel drive vehicle. As a result, we’ve spent much of the driving time traveling slower than the posted speed.

Some of you may have four-wheel drive vehicles. When you take snowy or icy roads, you laugh as you have the opportunity to test your vehicle, to move ahead without delay. When you get behind people like me, you pound the steering wheel in frustration. You look for a wide spot in the road. You zoom by, laughing at my incompetence as a driver and my inability to get a cool vehicle.

Of course, I know that you wouldn’t have that attitude at all. You aren’t being mean to me. You just have a vehicle that works well on snow. You are just driving. But I can’t help feeling like you would rather I not be on the road.

And I wouldn’t. Except I’m not out here because it’s fun. I’m out here because I need to work. I’m out here because I need to live. What is fun for you is incredibly risky for me and so I will creep along, feeling fragile, fearing your condemnation.

On one of the days that I was creeping along, causing a long line of pickups and SUVs to wait (okay, probably only two), I realized that people who have been around church all their lives, who know all the words, who talk about God with great agility, are a lot like people with four-wheel drive. And sometimes we drive too close to the people who are just barely hanging on, who feel like a wrong move could send them into the ditch. Forever.

And I’m very sorry.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.