Once, I was listening to a sermon online, and I remember them saying that praise and prayer should be your first response in every situation. I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, but I can’t honestly say that is my first response. Some of my first responses might be anger, fear, unbelief, arrogance, or confusion. I might even pick up the phone to call Joe, my mom, or my sister when I should be praying instead.
This past week, I traveled to Grundy for a couple of days to work. I’ve traveled that road so many times that I’ve lost count. When you travel the same road over and over again, you might tend to zone out and be on auto-pilot. That is what happened to me on Monday morning as I was on my way.
It is a 1 1/2 hour drive to Grundy from Abingdon, so I usually take that time to listen to an online sermon. This morning, as I was listening to my favorite online Pastor, Michael Todd, I didn’t pay attention to a section of the road. There is a small intersection on this four-lane highway where about 200 yards before and after the intersection, the speed limit goes from 55 to 45. It is a strange place for a change in speed since there aren’t many businesses, homes, or much of anything.
I know the speed change is there, and I know that the police radar there all the time since it is an unexpected spot for a speed change. And, I even mentioned to Joe that it was the end of the month, so I had better be extra careful since there would probably be a lot of police on the roads.
However, I was caught up in the sermon and completely forgot about the change in speed…until I saw the policeman sitting on the side of the road. Sure enough, he pulled out behind me with his lights flashing. I pulled over and got my driver’s license out for him as he approached.
The officer was very nice as he took my information, and then he disappeared to his car to run my info. As I sat there, probably because I had just been listening to a sermon, I started praising the Lord. I praised Him for slowing me down and for reminding me to drive slower. Then, I praised Him for delaying my journey and possibly preventing me from an accident that could be waiting ahead. I praised Him for His mercy and His grace, and I asked Him to be with me for the rest of my journey.
The police officer got out of his car and walked up to my window. He handed me my driver’s license and then told me he was going to let me go with a warning. He laughed when he saw the unbelief on my face. I told him that his warning was not how I thought my Monday morning was going to start off. He smiled and told me to drive carefully the rest of the way to Grundy.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I didn’t praise the Lord with the idea that I wasn’t getting a ticket, I thought that was a done deal. Instead, I praised Him for watching over me, for guiding my steps, and for using whatever means He needed to accomplish that goal. My delight at not getting the ticket wasn’t because I saved myself some money. I was delighted because I felt like the Lord was showing me that He heard me, and He was pleased.
I wish I could say that praise and prayer would always be my first response, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make that happen. However, I know that I am human and will make mistakes. If it isn’t my first response, I’ll regroup and remember to praise the Lord and pray to Him as soon as possible. Hopefully, praise and prayer will become my first response with practice and perseverance.
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!