“Do you understand?”
Yes I understand.
How often we are asked that, and how often we find ourselves saying the opposite sometime later.
I regard(ed) buses on the road in the same way as I do caravans. Mobile obstructions, best passed at the first opportunity! Slow coaches getting in My Way!
Except I now drive a bus every other Thursday evening. I am driving that bus tonight. Our “Bar n Bus” bus. Slow, clapped out, something always breaking. But so important to real people – real young (and not so young) people who regard the bus as “their bus”. Who think church is for others – and is on Sunday – and is for religious people – not like them. And then we turn up.
Yesterday I was driving our family car. And in the distance I saw a bus coming. A real bus with real passengers. Cars parked outside houses, gaps here and there – a road where stopping or giving way is “what happens”. When they have “right of way” I stop, when I have right of way – they stop. Like this bus.
Yet, with little thought, I “assessed” the road between me and him – and I stopped. The bus would have to “squeeze in” to the one available gap a hundred yards away in order to give way (all the other gaps were too small).
Before I drove a bus? He would have had to give way to me. It is the law. But the law is there to help “keep us all moving as safely and as easily as possible. All of us.
So I stopped.
And He reminded me to add this:
As I did this, I checked my rear-view mirror – other car drivers coming up behind tend to think me a “slow driver” when I do this – and they have “overtaken me” – and then caused a longer “snarl up” of car and bus than ever needed. So I watch my mirror and provide “additional information” if necessary – to allow the car behind to understand: this bus “has right of way” on this occasion. It’s quicker for “all of us” this way.
Odd how He “weaves my life into His verses” …
“‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’ When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.” Matthew 13:47-53
Because while he ended with: “Do you understand?”
He started this morning’s small thought with four small words: “… fish of every kind …”
“Fish of every kind … EVERY kind … think about that, Paul …”
I “understand driving”. I know the law. Bus drivers and caravans? They were the “enemy” in my way. So I “used” the law. For my benefit. Because “the law is the law” –
“Do you understand, Paul …”
Getting there Lord, getting there!