I was almost in two different car accidents this weekend.
The first was Saturday afternoon, returning home from errands and luncheons and all things post vacation-related. I was driving in the right lane, passing a Raceway gas station, thoughts drifting...and suddenly, the SUV in the lane next to me decided to come over. No warning. No blinker. No indication. Fast and hard. They were simply in the left lane, and then they were simply in my lane.
I yelled. Yanked the wheel hard and propelled us onto the shoulder in front of the gas station, swerving, grateful for the driveway, grateful no cars were coming or going out of the station's driveway. Grateful the shoulder was there and was clear.
By then the SUV had realized it's mistake and gotten back over, so I could get also back on the road where I belonged.
I drove home, shaky, adrenaline laced, and alert.
Twenty minutes later, the entire incident was but a distant memory.
Until it almost happened again - this morning, on the way to work, merging from one highway to another heading into downtown. I was driving, thoughts drifting, and suddenly, the cars in front of me that were merging suddenly were no longer merging. They were slamming on their brakes.
Once again, I darted out of the way, yanking the wheel to the left this time to avoid ramming the car in front of me, who had somehow managed to avoid ramming the car in front of them, while somehow the car behind me managed not to ram me as well.
I drove to work, shaky, adrenaline laced, and alert.
And God opened my eyes to what that was all about.
It wasn't about me not paying attention - I was, clearly, and my instincts were sharp, or else I'd have been in two wrecks this weekend if not for His grace. No, it wasn't a wake up call to drive more defensively or a reminder of how fragile life is, though there are always those lessons to consider.
For me, it was 100 times more personal.
Because God showed me the pattern. He gently reminded me where my thoughts had been BOTH times I was in those near collisions. They'd been drifting into a default pattern that He has repeatedly set me free from. I was defying my liberty and allowing myself to sink back into old habits that are no longer who I am or what I want. The thoughts were going to take me down a dusty-familiar trail I had no business and honestly, no desire, to trod again. It was a sneak attack, and it was my wake up call.
Our thoughts come like that sometimes...like express trains on a one-way track. Waiting to collide with either acceptance or denial. We choose to embrace the crash of This Thought...or we choose to dodge This Thought and avoid the collision.
Had those near tangible wrecks not woken me up and shaken me up and changed my course of thought, I'd have embraced the metaphorical wreck of old, destructive patterns.
It's not a coincidence.
So I'm choosing to dodge those thoughts, just like I dodged those two vehicles, and avoid the pain and expense of a collision.
You have that freedom to choose, too - the freedom to take your thoughts captive to Christ and crush them with rejection, or open your arms wide to the collision of acceptance. The risk is you have no idea how hard the crash will be. What it will cost you to repair. What damage will be done.
If you don't actively put a stop to that oncoming train, you might end up with a minor fender bender...or you might end up with a totaled heart.
It's not worth the risk.
"We...take every thought captive to obey Christ..." - 2 Corinthians 10:5